South Sudan said on Wednesday its monthly gold export earnings to the Arab world have plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Akol Ayii Madut, director general of South Sudan Customs Services, said Juba is no longer able to earn from its monthly gold exports to Dubai, worth US$200,000, due to COVID-19 disruptions.
"We are no longer earning from our gold exports worth US$200,000, a month due to COVID-19," he told Xinhua in Juba.
Madut said this has caused a 20 percent decline in non-oil revenue since March, when the government imposed partial lockdown, before lifting restrictions in the aftermath of widespread agitation from the public.
South Sudan's other exports affected due to COVID-19 include gum arabic and teak logs, usually to Sudan and Uganda respectively.
"We are still maintaining 80 percent collection on imports compared to March, when the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19," Madut said.
South Sudan depends mainly on its oil exports through Port Sudan to finance 98 percent of its fiscal budget annually.
Global oil prices have fallen below 40 dollars a barrel. The government is considering removing tax exemptions enjoyed by humanitarian organizations in order to increase the tax base, Madut said.
Several humanitarian organizations have, since March, stopped bringing in goods to the country with the exception of the UN World Food Program (WFP).
However, business flow along the main Nimule border with Uganda continues, despite some bureaucracies imposed by authorities on both sides to curb COVID-19 infections, Madut said.
"When the truck drivers come it takes three days to be screened by authorities and then they are allowed to enter into South Sudan. This current delay is because of COVID-19," he said.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|