24 Sep 2018

 

Parliament Approves SSP 81.5 Billion Budget For 2018/2019

The Transitional National Legislature on Monday approved 81.5 Billion South Sudanese Pounds for the next fiscal year budget, an increase of about 75% from last year’s budget.

Parliament Approves SSP 81.5 Billion Budget For 2018/2019
Parliament during a session previously [Gurtong file photo]

Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 21 August 2018 [Gurtong]-The security sector continued to get the lion’s share of the national resource since the South Sudan conflict started in late 2013. The Health sector receives an amount of 100 million South Sudanese Pounds for the upgrade of the Mortuary at Juba Teaching Hospital.

Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, the Minister of Finance and Planning defended that the security sector received much of the budget because of the large operations they usually undertake to provide security to the citizens.

The Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Defence have been allocated a combined budget of SSP 25 billion.

Minister Salvatore stated that the budget would be funded by local resources, with much of the funds coming from oil revenues and a small percentage of the funds coming from the non-oil revenues.

The Finance Minister added that this year’s budget would focus payment of salaries of civil servants and service delivery.

The Minister of Finance also allocated SSP17 billion to clear the outstanding salary arrears for the government civil servants including members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly from 2005 up to 2016.

The Ministry of Electricity and Dams has been allocated an additional two billion for the completion of Beden Power project which is under construction. The power project would supply electricity to Juba if completed.

Some revenues rates have also been revised. The departure fees for international flights have been increased to 30 US dollars from the previous 20 while SSP350 approved for domestic departures.

The Members of Parliament observed that most of the ministries have been spending money allocated to them in the budget.

The Speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, Anthony Lino Makana threatened to punish Ministers who over spend without reporting to the Parliament.

“They are supposed to bring their reports to the Assembly. They don’t even want to defend their budget in the Cabinet and they end up lobbying for the MPs to speak for them,” Makana said.
Moses Hassan Thiel, Minister of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs, appealed to the Members of Parliament to increase supervision of the government spending agencies.

He attributed over spending in some ministries to daily sitting allowances that the Ministers get when they travel abroad.

Minister Thiel suggested that the daily allowances given to ministers should be regulated so as to curb over spending.

 

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