JUBA – South Sudan’s revitalized transitional parliament on Tuesday passed at least SSP1.4 trillion for the fiscal budget 2022/2023, just as the central bank slashed foreign exchange injections into the market by at least a half, Radio Tamazuj reports.
The budget which has a deficit of SSP 506 billion gives ministries of presidential affairs, cabinet affairs and foreign affairs SSP138.4, the highest, and the education sector SSP112.84 billion, security sector, 75.33 billion, economic function, SSP73.1 billion and natural resources and rural development got SSP67.32 billion.
The health docket receiving 34.7 billion SSP, rule of law allocated 31.7 billion SSP, infrastructure allocated 12.5 billion SSP, social and humanitarian affairs received 6.08 billion SSP and least allocated was accountability docket receiving 2.4 billion SSP.
The budget is expected to be funded partly by oil revenues to a tune of 715.8 billion SSP, and non-oil revenues to a tune of 117.04 billion SSP.
During the deliberations, lawmakers observed that the new improved civil servants’ salaries structure had not been reflected in the budget and they called on the finance minister to inform the execute to reflect the new structure in October.
The lawmakers also observed that diversification of the economy to avoid over-reliance on oil, improved funding to the ministry of health.
Rebecca Joshua Okwachi, the Chief Whip of the SPLM in the TNLA, called on the executive to expedite the inclusion of improved salaries for the civil servants and organized forces.
“We are all concerned and I appreciate the members of parliament for continuously raising the concerns for the increment of salaries of the civil servants and the organized forces, Now that the situation seems to be challenging for the government, we want to urge the cabinet to very quickly come out with very clear results and also for you in parliament we will not leave any stone unturned to follow up with the cabinet,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Justin Joseph Marona, from the SPLM/IO representing Western Equatoria state proposed more funds to lay off civil servants who are above retirement age.
The Council of Ministers in June approved the amended 1.3 trillion SSP budget, an equivalent of $2.71 billion for the 2022/2023 financial year.
By law, the budget should be submitted to the national legislature no later than May 15 of each financial year, but this has not been happening for the last two years.