Chad has scrapped import duties on staple foods to quell growing anger over rising food prices in the country.
According to a joint decree by the Ministry of Finance, rice, flour, cooking oil and dates are some of the items the government has exempted from levies or import taxes.
The decision was prompted by power outages witnessed in the capital, N’Djamena, for a long time now and about four months of acute shortage in cooking gas- forcing residents to rely on cow dung as fuel.
Protests in neighboring Sudan over high costs of living, which also led to the President’s ousting is a warning sign to the Chadian government to prevent a similar occurrence.
Last year, civil servants went on strike for weeks to protest a range of austerity measures President Idriss Deby said were needed to get a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Landlocked Chad, which hosts thousands of Sudanese who fled the Darfur crisis in the early 2000s, was hurt by a sharp drop in international oil prices and has been struggling with the fallout from conflicts in Libya, Central African Republic, and Islamist militancy in Nigeria.
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