Home | Site Map | Flux RSS |               

Assemblée Nationale du Burundi


Home » English » Activities » Overseeing the work of the Government » Oral questions

The price increase in basic necessities is structural in nature

publie le Friday 1 September 2023
parCommunication and Spokesperson’s Office

The devaluation of the local currency is impacting the soaring prices of basic necessities, including sugar, said the Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry and Tourism on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. During the plenary session devoted to oral questions with debate, Mrs Marie Chantal Nijimbere was more explicit. In 2017," she recalled, "a US dollar worth BIF 1,729 whereas it’s worth BIF 2,850 today, a devaluation rate of 66.33%. In addition, spare parts imported by SOSUMO are purchased in foreign currency.

However, the MPs were still thirsty. "Where exactly is the deadlock?", they asked.

As far as sugar is concerned, the Sugar Factory of Moso (SOSUMO) is aware of the disparity between supply and demand, which has prompted it to import 50% of its sugar.

Equitable sharing remains the key issue for some MPs, who cried out that the ministries overlap. In fact, they explained, there is plenty of room for abuse, since it is the grassroots administrators who draw up the lists of sugar retailers delivered by the SOSUMO.
She added that this situation is worrying and requires special attention in order to guarantee the integrity and transparency of the distribution process, by preventing and punishing any form of complicity or bribery.

A 50kg sugar bag does not cost more than 166,000BIF at SOSUMO, said the plenary, who could not believe it when people were buying this product at 8,000BIF per kilogram. Many people can’t even find this rare product, a sign that speculators are hiding it. So, the sugar produced at SOSUMO is not reaching its destination, concluded the MPs, who immediately proposed the structural aspect as a way out. The task should be easy with the introduction of the budget-average system, commented the people’s representatives, who compared the committee for monitoring and evaluating the sugar distribution chain to the joint safety committee, which has already proved its effectiveness.

The change in packaging for imported sugar sold in SOSUMO bags has worried the MPs.
This is common practice in the trade," said the Government envoy. And the plenary proposed importing sugar already packaged in bags marked with the SOSUMO emblem. The product’s country of origin should also appear on the packaging. Besides complying with standards, there will be no loss of income in terms of purchasing SOSUMO bags and sewing them.

Moreover, it is by virtue of article 82 of the budget law, Fiscal Year 2023-2024, that the administrative authorities at the grassroots will impose fines on traders who raise the price, reassured the member of the Government.

But the MPs pointed out, that this increase in the public price is sometimes justified by the remoteness of the supply centers for Brarudi products, whose suppliers have assimilated the law of least action. As a result, the remote areas are abandoned without further ado. If it is the retailer from a remote area who travels to obtain supplies at his own expense from an SSD or a Mega, he will of course increase the selling price. The MPs advocate varying the price of Brarudi products according to the location of the shop, as is the case with fuel.

Although the plenary regretted Brarudi’s monopoly status, it was stung by the rapid deterioration in the health of the people who openly consume alcoholic beverages containing excessive volumes of alcohol, in this case, KICK. Drastic measures should be taken as soon as possible to control the manufacture of these local products, which are sold cheaply, suggested the MPs, who also questioned the performance of the BBN. If the latter is not well equipped to fulfill its mission, the Government should rectify the situation, they pleaded.

pied page |