The Chamber of Commerce (CoC) in Delling, South Kordofan, announced the completion of their first successful day of market closure yesterday, in protest of the excessive taxation levied at market vendors nationwide.
Secretary General of the Delling CoC, Dr Ali El Amin, told Radio Dabanga that the market strike excluded essential vendors such as “bakeries, restaurants, butchers, and pharmacies”. The S-G also stated that the tax increase would do nothing but “increase the prices of goods beyond what people would be able to afford”.
Shops in El Managil and Wad Madani in El Gezira State also closed down their market stalls yesterday, following the El Gezira State CoC announcement that the state's tax director rejected the list of demands they had submitted. According to market traders, 95 per cent of vendors participated in the strike.
Demonstrators in Kassala blocked the main road in their state yesterday, in protest of the government selling the land area where the markets are located. Protesters barricaded the main road by setting tires alight.
The Minister of Finance, Jibril Ibrahim, recently called for expanding the ‘taxes umbrella’ [span of taxes], as he considers it “the most effective and successful way to increase tax revenues and combat tax evasion”.
However, many economic experts in the region are not convinced that increasing taxes is a good way to support Sudan’s economy. They warn that it will further increase the economic hardships of many Sudanese, who already struggle to make ends meet.
Tax increases will eventually affect the consumer, and will lead to a weakening of purchasing power and reluctance to consume, economic analyst Hafiz Ismail told Radio Dabanga.
Economic expert and politician Sidgi Kaballo recently warned of a ‘revolution of the hungry’ in an interview with Radio Dabanga if the root causes of the economic problems are not addressed.