Finance Minister tables 2017-2018 budget to parliament

The budget estimate for the year 2017-2018 has been tabled in the parliament for deliberations and approval on Wednesday by the Finance and Planning Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau.

The Ministry of Finance has proposed a budget of 46 billion 487 million South Sudanese Pounds (SSP) for the fiscal year 2017-2018. The available resources for the budget, including new borrowings is 32 billion, 461 million SSP, leaving a deficit of 14 billion, 131 million SSP.

Dau said if the fuel subsidy is reduced, the deficit gap can be closed entirely, and use the surplus to increase salaries of government employees.

The fuel price subsidy, proposed to be removed is estimated at SSP 28.3 billion (USD) 183 million to give to Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) import subsidized fuel for domestic consumption.

The total government expenditure is estimated at 43 billion, 691 million, 10 billion and 320 million higher than the one of 2016-2017 budget.

The salaries of government employees take a lion’s share of the budget, at 22 billion, 498 million SSP. International, State and County transfers take SSP 8 billion, and 216 million.

Operating expenditures will take 6,627 million SSP.

1 billion and 610 million SSP is allocated to capital expenditures, while 7 billion, 01million is allocated for interest payments on existing debts. For other expenditures, there is 38 million SSP.

The accountability sector will get 2 billion 489 million SSP, and Economics Function Sector to receive 537 million SSP.

Education Sector will receive 1 billion 870 million SSP, while the health sector will receive 1 billion and 47 million from government resources.

Infrastructure sector will receive SSP 294 million, out of which 150 million is to support capital investment through the South Sudan Roads Authority.

Natural Resources and Rural Development Sector will receive SSP 820 million, and Public Administration Sector 12 billion and 27 million SSP.

Rule of Law to receive 3 billion 981 million, Social and Humanitarian Affairs sector to get SSP 172 million.

The finance ministry also allocated 4 billion SSP for peace expenditures.

Dau also said the government is indebted by 54 billion 767 million, which is 25 percent of the gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Dau said the debt figures exclude domestic arrears which are estimated to run in billions, and arrears to Sudan of over 400 million dollars. According to the finance minister, if all the debt figures are included, it is expected to rise around 60 percent of the GDP.

The minister also tabled the Financial Bill 2017-2018, and the Appropriation Bill to national legislature.

Speaker Anthony Lino Makana said the committee of Economics and Planning will be responsible for scrutinizing the budget. He also reactivated the clusters of governance, economics, and services to scrutinize the budget, and report to the committee of economics and planning, within 21 days.




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