BUDGET, MPs to unlock stalemate

By Opio Jackson

The Transitional National Legislative Assembly [TNLA] is expected to make the final reading of the 2019/2020 fiscal budget today.

Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth, said all the ministries were requested by the line ministry of Parliamentary Affairs to attend the final reading of the budget.

It is not clear what will be the final 2019/2019 budget but last Wednesday the MPs reportedly said if Finance Minister, Salvatore Mabiordit fails to pay the pending civil servants’ two months salaries, they would not pass the new budget.

Addressing the press last Friday after the regular Council of Ministers meeting, Makuei said the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs had informed all the ministers to attend today’s budget reading session.

Last Wednesday, MPs demanded that Salvatore pays civil servants’ salaries as a condition for passing the budget.

MP Oharuai Mabor Teny, head of Youth Parliamentary Caucus, said the minister must honor the payments before the third reading of the budget.

He warned that the minister would be relieved of his position if he fails to pay the wages, Catholic Radio Network reported.

Mabor implored on the need to prioritize on the youth entrepreneurship to stop them from joining rebel forces.

The officials were speaking at TNLA during the second reading of 2019-2020 budget report.

In his State of Nation address through the media to mark the 8th Independence Day, President Salva Kiir apologized to civil servants over the delays in paying their salaries.

Kiir said the failure to pay the money was “caused by weak governance” in the departments that are supposed to raise funds and pledged to personally get involved in the issue.

South Sudan depends on oil exports for over 90 percent of its government revenue, and on Friday Makuei said Petroleum Minister Eng. Daniel Awou Chuang confirmed a new oil field has been discovered in Northern Upper Nile State.

“The Minister of Petroleum said they have made a new discovery of oil in a place called Ghasap and soon they will start drilling, which will definitely increase the production,” Makuei said.

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