Chairperson of the parliament committee on information John Agany (Radio Tamazuj photo)

Parliament summons bank governor, finance minister over economic woes

Parliament has summoned the Central Bank governor and the minister of finance to appear next week before them to answer questions on the country’s biting economic situation.

Parliament has summoned the Central Bank governor and the minister of finance to appear next week before them to answer questions on the country’s biting economic situation.

The South Sudanese pound has steadily dropped in value compared to the US dollar since the beginning of this month.  On Monday, prices around Juba stood at about SSP 1005 for USD 1.

The Central Bank blames the depreciation of the South Sudanese Pounds against the US dollar on the conflict in Sudan and dependence on imports.

Speaking after a parliamentary sitting on Monday, John Agany Deng, spokesperson of the parliamentary committee on information, said the two officials will appear before the parliament next week to answer questions on currency devaluation and the rise in consumer prices.

 “That is why we resolved that the minister concerned, the minister of finance, together with the governor of the central bank, should be called immediately in the next sitting and you have already seen the resolution made by Rt. Honourable Speaker, about that information. These people must be summoned to come and explain to us why we should devalue our money and there is a rise in the US dollar for what reason,” Agany said.

The lawmaker claimed that there was a lot of irregularity in the country’s auctioning of US dollars to commercial banks and forex bureaus.

 “You have been told that there are auctions going on, people bring dollars, they pour it into the market, but they pour it in the market with the string caught from the behind. People are interesting, they have a lot of dollars, and they need to gain a lot of pounds. So they raise that value so that they own a lot of pounds, and then at the end, the poor become poorer and those people with big capital become richer and that is already the classes you created in the government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dusma Joyce James, a lawmaker representing Lainya County, said the two officials should explain to the assembly what caused prices to shoot up.

“My point of information to this house as representative of the people is the influx of US dollars in the market which today has gone to 105 SSP. The Right Hon. Speaker, people are dying, people are starving, and we, as the honourable members, are keeping quiet about the rise of US dollars in the market. Now, if you go to the market, you will get the price of a sack of flour is SSP 30,000, and the sack of sugar is SSP 50,000,” said Dusman.