The markets of the cooperative institution affiliated with the Sudanese army have emerged remarkably in recent months, as they are trying to provide important goods at reduced prices compared to the general market, amid a large turnout of thousands of citizens, with a state of controversy over the military institution’s involvement in civilian projects.
It seemed that the Corporation had an ambitious plan to establish large markets in the capital, Khartoum and the regions, which it initiated by establishing this huge market in the Safia area, north of Khartoum North, in which the products of military companies operating in manufacturing and the goods of other companies contracting with them are sold at a reduction of up to 35% of the prices of these products in the markets. . Read also Despite the liberation of fuel prices in Sudan, the suffering is expanding and fears of a worsening situation Sudan..a stifling transportation crisis and a crazy rise in fuel prices بأسعارSudan .. Increasing electricity prices to astronomical numbers doubles the suffering of citizens Sudan: A crazy rise in drug prices and the disappearance of life-saving items
Although the military institution market in Khartoum North is located in an area relatively far from the peripheral neighborhoods of the capital, but its daily visitors reach thousands, given the price difference between it and the regular markets, where most of its visitors buy enough needs for more than a week, while some are keen to buy supplies for the whole month.
Zahra Mustafa (a housewife who lives in Al-Jarif east, which is an area relatively far from the market) regrets not being able to reside near her location and thousands of people in need of his services, which makes her not benefiting from it continuously.
She told Al Jazeera Net, “If this market is to succeed, it must open small sales windows in the popular neighborhoods, because they are the most affected by the government’s policies,” referring to the economic reforms implemented by the government. in a standard way.
But Ahmed Khaled – who came to shop at the foundation with his family – does not agree with Zahra al-Rai. He told Al-Jazeera Net that the experience is good, given the reasonable prices of commodities, and that it has ended the intervention of intermediaries between the producer and the consumer.
The Ministry of Trade and Supply announced its intention to carry out campaigns to monitor markets and control prices next July, in an attempt to end the wide discrepancy in commodity prices in the country’s markets.
The ministry indicated that the campaigns aim to find out the costs of production, and to determine profits ranging between 5 and 15%.
Minister Ali Gedo Adam said, in statements published on Saturday, that the expected campaigns are based on laws regulating trade, consumer protection, competition and monopoly prevention, and grants the state the right to intervene in cases of uncontrolled prices.
Controversial army investments
The army owns many companies that produce food and consumer goods and clothing, which is still a matter of controversy, as government and the ruling coalition have pressed for months in the direction of handing these companies over to the civilian government, before the latter agreed to participate in the management of these institutions now, to be transferred later to companies public contribution.
The cooperative enterprise market idea for reduced sale focuses on selling products of army companies such as milk, poultry, meat, shoes, clothes and electrical tools, in addition to the commodities produced by commercial companies such as foodstuffs to citizens at cost price only.
The director of the Cooperative Institution’s market, Brigadier General Maaash Abdel Moeen Hassan, says that the corporation grants sites within the market to companies for free and without imposing any fees, in addition to providing insurance and cleaning, in return for selling its goods at the factory price.
There are about 20 companies and factories in the market, but Abdel Moeen revealed that more than 30 other companies submitted applications to join the market, which is frequented by nearly 50,000 citizens daily, according to his speech.
Abdel Moein believes – in his speech to Al-Jazeera Net – that the market experiment has achieved great success to the point where the shops near them reduce prices to keep pace with the market prices of the military cooperative.
Certainly, the army’s experience in selling the sale was not the first of its kind, as it was preceded by many experiences, including the “My Goods” program, which is implemented by a company owned by the Ministry of Trade in cooperation with other government institutions. This company buys food and consumer products from factories and distributes them to cooperative societies in the capital and some states at cost.
There is also the experience of some resistance committees in the neighborhoods, where they collect cash from families to buy goods from factories at reduced prices for the benefit of these families.
Brigadier General Abdel Moein sees a difference between the experience of the established military market and other experiences, as the military cooperative institution sells many goods, including shoes and electrical appliances, while other markets are limited to specific food commodities.
In response to what is said that the cooperative market represents interference by the army in public affairs, this official says, “We as a cooperative institution have our intentions to serve the citizens.”
He adds, “Perhaps the army leadership’s vision will improve the image in the face of the continuous attack on it, but in any case the political goals are not a party to it,” before pointing out the need to circulate it in all states for its direct benefit to consumers.
Abdel Moein announced the expansion of the cooperative institution to the discounted market, as it will open 3 markets in Khartoum and Omdurman within the next few months. He said the plan includes rolling out the experience in the states as well, starting next year.
For his part, economic researcher Haytham Fathy believes that the experience of reduced selling has proven to be ineffective in reducing the burden on citizens, especially since it has been tried a lot, because the state does not grant it preferential advantages in importing goods.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera.net, he called for the state to focus on the “My Goods” project, provided that a careful study is conducted to ensure that the goods reach the citizen without intermediaries.
Sudan suffers from a severe economic crisis, and the government’s vision for solving it is based on attracting capital for investment and exempting foreign debts amounting to more than $ 60 billion, and for that, a harsh economic reform policy on the lives of the population is being implemented under the direct supervision of the International Monetary Fund.
It is expected that Sudan will reach the decision point that qualifies it to enter the Heavily Indebted Countries (HIPC) exemption initiative next June, enabling the government to obtain 80% of its debts owed by other countries.