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BUDGET SSP 81.590 Billion Tabled in Parliament

Salvatore Garang Mabiordit (Juba Monitor file photo):

By Moses Gum Degur

The Minister of Finance and Planning yesterday tabled the 2018/2019 fiscal year budget to members of the national legislature for deliberation.

Minister Salvatore Garang Mabiordit tabled the draft Budget of eighty one billion five hundred and ninety South Sudan Pounds (SSP 81.590B) to the Transitional National Legislative Assembly with the 2018/2019 Appropriation Bill, the 2018/2019 Financial Bill to be passed together with the budget.

The Presented budget to the August House has been categorized into sectors; with (  23,078) billion SSP allocated for the salaries of Government employees including the army and the organized forces, three billion allocated for consolidation of peace, repairing damaged infrastructures, facilitate and return of IDPs in the country.

Education sector would receive 7,676 billion SSP to help pay salaries of teachers, provided capitation Grants to primary school and support county education departments; Health Sector receives (1616) billion SSP, Infrastructure (2777) billion, Natural Resources and Rural Development to take 965 million SSP.

Other remaining budget of (15, 930) Billion SSP goes to security sector to pay salaries of army and the veterans. The Social and Humanitarian Affairs Sector takes an amount of 244 million SSP and the National Authority receives (557) million SSP respectively.

The budget for 2018/2019 of (81.590) SSP showed remarkable increase compared to thirty billion, one hundred and forty five million Pounds for 2017/2018.

This is the largest budget presented to the lawmakers since the country attained its independence in 2011 amidst the current economic challenges.

Minister Mabiordit said the resource projection for this year’s budget was based on the country’s Macro-Fiscal Framework and that the estimated budget was going to resolve the problem of the arrears in the country.

He said although there were unverified current stocks of debts running into billions of South Sudanese Pounds there was need to resolve outstanding arrears.

“In 2018/2019, I plan to resolve the problem of the arrears. Although unverified, our current stock of arrears certainly runs into billions of pounds. At the same time arrears continue as spending agencies continue to enter into new commitments or obligations that are not justifiable and affordable,” Garang said.

He described the arrears management as a very complex process which requires concerted effort and actions.

The Minister appealed to the House to pass the Public Procurement Bill so as to strengthen procedures for making contracts.

He promised that he would be establishing the Arrears Management Committee which would be tasked with overseeing the process of taking stock of existing arrears, develop debts clearance, plan and recommend measures to prevent future accumulation of arrears.

“I have requested the Auditor General to verify the arrears that are identified, so that we eliminate fake claims from our arrears stock and only plan to clear genuine ones,” Garang said.

The Minister further said his ministry intends to strengthen expenditure management procedures in order to cater for payment of salaries and meet debt service obligations in the country.

“We also endeavor to ensure that all spending agencies are allocated funds for operating expenses despite being small. We have encountered a number of challenges in ensuring effective cash Management during 2017/2018 fiscal year budget,” Mabiordit said.

The Minister said if his institution succeeded in reducing the fuel subsidy in 2018/2019, then there would be no budget deficit because sufficient funds would be available to pay salaries of employees.

Mabiordit also outlined plans including payroll cleansing to reduce duplication and ghost names from electronic payroll entries.

Speaker of the TNLA, Anthony Lino Makana directed Members of Parliament to break in to their Economics, Sovereign and Service Clusters to scrutinize the Budget and its accompanying Bills. The committee leaders are expected to report to the Chairperson of the Economics Committee Dr. David Nailo Mayo who would preset the report to the House within 21 days.

The Speaker said the budget should be passed within 45 days from the first day of its presentation to the Parliament.






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