South Sudan still struggling to pass the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget

File photo of a parliamentary session in South Sudan

By Simon Deng

With three months left to the end of the 2021-2022 fiscal year, South Sudan has not yet passed its budget.

This week, Transitional National Legislative Assembly was still struggling to move the budget from one reading to the next.

The third and fourth reading are scheduled for Wednesday from where the budget may see the light of day, nine months late, Mary Nawai Martin, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, said.

The 2021-2022 fiscal year budget of 287.04 billion South Sudanese Pounds has reportedly been partially used up already with funds coming through oil and nonoil revenues and as well from the external grants.

Agak Achuil Lual, the Minister of Finance presented the bill to the Transitional Legislative Assembly for consideration on February 2, 2022.

The budget should have been used by June 30, 2022.

According to Changkuoth Bichiok Reth, the chairperson for the Finance Committee at the National Legislative Assembly, this budget is meant “to consolidate fiscal discipline.”

“The overarching objective of the government for the fiscal year 2021/2022 is to continue to consolidate fiscal discipline through operationalization of the cash management unit,” Reth said.

Dengtiel Ayuen Kur, the chairperson for Legislature and Legal Affairs Committee however said the Ministry for Finance does not observe budget discipline.

“Some spending agencies get more than their appropriated budgets at the expense of other spending agencies which are deprived of their appropriated budgets,” Kur said.

“Those who get more may not be blamed. It is the Ministry of Finance which gives itself the discretion to give more or less,” he said.

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