JUBA, AUGUST 14, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan parliament passed the controversial 2023/2024 fiscal budget on Friday, despite strong opposition from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO).
The SSP2 trillion budget was passed with a 400 percent increment in salaries and wages for civil servants and organized forces, after SPLM-IO legislators walked out of the parliament.
The SPLM-IO had wanted a 600 percent increment in salaries for civil servants and organized forces.
Speaker of the National Assembly Jemma Nunu Kumba said that the minister of finance would table a supplementary budget for the increment of salaries of civil servants by 600 percent in the next five months.
Finance Minister Bak Barnaba said that his ministry would focus on regulating the foreign exchange rate of the South Sudanese Pounds against the U.S. dollar in a bid to curb soaring prices in the market.
He also said that the government was working on a long-term program to boost the people’s living standards and alleviate the poverty level. This would include focusing on sectors such as agriculture, mining, and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Changkuoth Bichiok Reath, Chairperson of the Specialized Committee on Finance and Planning, said that SSP15 billion had been allocated to the South Sudan Pension Fund to retire those who have reached the retirement age.
According to the lawmaker, the accountability was given SSP 110,399,616, economic sector, SSP 8,082,859,293, education, SSP 5,119,106,725, health, SSP 6,926,815,145, infrastructure, SSP 306,007,773,448, natural resources and rural development, SSP 14,725,797,628, public administration, SSP 6,428,964,608, rule of law, SSP 342,679,267, security sector SSP 3,214,964,962, social and humanitarian affairs: SSP 223,449,883, peace implementation SSP 44 billion and foreign affairs, SSP 32 billion
The budget was passed despite concerns that it would not be enough to address the country’s many challenges, such as poverty, unemployment, and a lack of infrastructure.
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