BUDGET Passed, MPs threaten to impeach minister
By Kitab A Unango
At last, Members of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) have passed the first reading of 2019/2020 national budget with strong warning of impeachment should the Minister of Finance and Planning, Salvatore Garang Mabiordit fail to clear outstanding salaries of civil servants.
Two weeks ago, Minister Mabiordit made unsuccessful attempts to table the 2019/2020 fiscal budget when the law makers blocked his bid.
They said Mabiordit could not present the budget before giving an overview of how 2018/2019 budget was spent and also clearing off all the outstanding salaries of civil servants.
Following the MPs move, Mabiordit last week paid two months salaries of civil servants, and promised to pay another two months in the next two weeks.
MPs continued to demand the Finance Minister to pay off salaries of civil servants as budgeted in the previous 2018/2019 fiscal year.
Yesterday, the MPs allowed Mabiordit to present the resource envelop for its first reading but they warned that they will impeach him if he did not fulfill his promise to clear off outstanding workers’ arrears.
“If you don’t pay the money, in the second reading, we will impeach you!” a Member of Parliament called Abuk from Bieh State said.
Another MP from Western Lakes also said, “You promised that you will pay the remaining salaries of civil servants in the next two weeks. If you don’t do that, you will pay the consequences”.
The resource envelop for 2019/2020 which is two hundred and eight billions, one hundred and fifty five millions (208 155) South Sudanese Pounds, has a deficit of seventy seven (77 billion) South Sudanese Pounds.
In the proposed budget, infrastructure sector takes precedence over other priorities including salaries of civil servants, information and security sectors while natural resource sector takes the lead budget allocation.
In his presentation Mabiordit said the gap in the budget will be bridged through increase in oil production.
“We proposed to manage the budget deficit through increase in oil production as well as positive difference between bench mark price and market price of crude oil. In addition, we will also explore external financing from the international market on favorable terms,” he added.