16th July 2024
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Finance ministry halts payments as fiscal year 2023-2024 expires

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Monday, July 1, 2024

FILE: Malual Tap Dieu, the First Undersecretary for Finance in the Ministry of Finance and Planning - Courtesy of Unity State Governor Office

The Ministry of Finance and Planning has suspended payments to government spending agencies as it closed the fiscal year 2023-2024 while a new budget is yet to be tabled in parliament.

The country is experiencing severe inflation as the national currency weakened against the US dollar after a major pipeline transporting 60 percent of the crude oil to Port Sudan broke down in February 2024.

The situation has left civil servants unpaid for months while triggering a sharp increase in commodity prices and leaving families struggling to feed themselves.

Hon. Malual Tap Dieu, First Undersecretary for Finance in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, said the financial year has automatically concluded and spending has been suspended until further notice.

Mr Tap said the decision has been taken in accordance with the Public Financial Management and Accountability Act (PFMAA-2011) of the Republic of South Sudan as amended.

“As you are well aware, the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 will officially end on June 30 2024. Therefore the Ministry of Finance and Planning is hereby informing all spending agencies and the general public that all payments will be suspended until further notice,” he said in a statement.

The first undersecretary said the ministry will not receive new claims until the 2024-2025 budget is passed by the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and assented to law.

South Sudan is yet to present its annual budget three weeks after East African partners; Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi presented their own – observing an existing tradition enshrined in the regional treaty.

But on Thursday, Finance Minister Awow Daniel Chuang presented a preliminary draft of the fiscal year 2024-2025 budget to the economic cluster, amounting to 2.4 trillion South Sudanese pounds.

The government projects that its annual revenue will cover about SSP1.7 trillion of the fiscal year budget and a deficit of 742.9 billion.

Details of the draft have not been revealed, but the finance minister said 10 percent of the budget has been allocated to the agricultural sector as the main pillar of the economy.

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