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NO REST-MPs to debate2021/2022budget

Members of Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) during the swearing in ceremony

By William Madouk Garang

Members of the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (R-TNLA) are warming up to debate and pass a National Budget for the fiscal year 2021/2022 next week after the country spent two years with no proper budget.

For the last two years, the government of South Sudan has instead been operating on supplementary budgets approved by the Council of Ministers to help them fill the financial gap in the state’s affairs.

So far, the Economics Cluster approved a 60 billion pounds supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2019/2020. South Sudan’s financial year or national budget covers twelve months which runs from 1st July to 30th of June each year.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning had presented to the Council of Ministers for the fiscal year 2021/2022, though there were no details, the budget was estimated to be over 500 billion South Sudanese Pounds and it’s been tabled to lawmakers for further deliberation and approval.

In a notification letter by the R-TNLA Clerk to all members of parliament and obtained by Juba Monitor, Makuc Makuc  Ngong said the deliberation on the national budget is rescheduled for Wednesday at Freedom Hall and urged all members to be punctual.

“The Office of Clerk of the Transitional National Legislature, RSS cordially notifies the Hon. Members of the National Legislature that, the National Budget for the Fiscal Year 2021/2022, is again rescheduled to take place on Wednesday 2nd February 2022 at 10:00 AM,”

“The Hon. Members of the Transitional National Legislature are therefore expected to be punctual to attend the said sitting accordingly,” reads a part of the document.

In August 2021, President Salva Kiir had called on lawmakers to urgently discuss and approve the country’s budget saying that government cannot continue to operate without an approved budget.

“Your counterparts in the executive branch have been working on most of the files. Today, I am drawing your attention to these files to ensure that they top your legislative agenda,”

“One of such files is the national budget, it has already been debated and approved by the cabinet and awaits your discussion and final approval,” president Kiir told MPs in the first session of the two Houses in August last year.

By law, the budget is supposed to be submitted to the national legislature by no later than the 15th of May of each financial year, but this has not been happening for the last two years.

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