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MPs urged to summon those imposing illegal taxes

The Minister of Trade has called on the Transitional National Legislative Assembly to summon all entities and individuals accused of imposing illegal taxes on traders.

Moses Hassan said these institutions and people are behind the increase in the market prices.

“It has been coming up from time to time the issue of either the prices are high or they have gone up meanwhile the dollar has come down,� he said.

Traders in Juba often complain of harassment and intimidation by tax collectors from the town’s municipal council.

They say the tax collectors are nowadays charging them what they call service fee – something they do not understand.

Recently, the Jubek Chamber of Commerce was also accused of collecting money forcefully from business people including tomato sellers for the National Dialogue, a claim it denies.

Other institutions named by the Minister of Trade include state governments, business unions and organized forces.

Minister Hassan went on to say that some of them have resisted after he called them to clarify whether they are involved in the extortion.

“I have been trying to call these people to my office several times and they are not listening to me. Even the Mayor of Juba City Council thinks sometimes he is higher than me,� he said.

While addressing members of the Transitional Legislative Assembly on Monday during the deliberation of the 2018/2019 fiscal budget, Mr Hassan all the accused should be summoned by the parliament for the issue to be addressed.

“I am appealing to the August House that within this week if not latest next week to call all these bodies including myself to the parliament such that we take all these issues head on,� stressed Mr Hassan.

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Mr. Hassan’s remarks came after several MPs raised concerns over the increase in prices of basics necessities such as food.

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