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Parliament passes SSP 338 billion budget for 2021/2022

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Thursday, March 17, 2022

South Sudan's National Parliament Building - Courtesy

The national legislature has finally passed the long-awaited national budget for the year 2021/2022 with an increase of more than 50 billion South Sudanese pounds.

Last month, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Agak Achuil tabled a draft budget of SSP 287 billion to the national legislature.

The drafts were to stimulate economic recovery and address issues related to conflict-induced fragility, climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his presentation for the third and final reading, the Chairperson of the committee on Finance and Planning says the body has raised the budget to the maximum of 338 billion SSP.

Hon. Changkuoth Bichok Reth says the decision comes after the clusters realized that the country overpaid an amount of $13.9 million as transitional financial arrangement to Sudan.

TFA is one of the nine agreements between Sudan and South Sudan signed in 2012.

It provides that the government will make a substantial financial contribution to Sudan over a period of three and a half years.

The Ministry of Finance is also said to provide an amount of 840,000 barrels per month to Sudan as TFA.

The committee’s statement however added that the money owed to Sudan was cleared in December last year.

Among the bills passed by the national parliament are the financial bill 2021 to 2022, as well as the Budget and Appropriation Bills.

After deliberation the Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba announced the passing of the fiscal budget.

“We have passed all the chapters? We go to schedules. We have scheduled one up to 27, can we pass them? We passed all the schedules in totality right? Rt. Hon. Speaker Nunu asked.

“Honorable members of the August house, the three bills the financial bill 2021/2022 the Appropriation bill and the budget bill have been passed today,”

The committee further reveals that the budget has a surplus of over 174 billion which they recommended to be allocated to some spending agencies.

This includes the Ministry of Public service, the Agriculture Banks, Constituency development fund, Ministry of peace building, urban Water and Corporation.

Others include, TNLA, Council of States and Parliamentary Commission among others.

Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba however encouraged the Ministry of Finance to table the budget by the end of June.

“As you are working on reforms, reforming our institutions, reforms in our country, let us try our best to follow the calendar,” Speaker Nunu said.

“We are expecting by May the budget is tabled so that by the end of June, we will pass a new budget for you to start on a new page so that we as a nation, we act, behave like other nations.

“We know we had our own challenge that delayed the establishment of the R-TNLA itself that is why we are tabling this very rate but now there will be no excuse for the next budget.”

Speaking to the media shortly after the budget was passed, Finance Minister Agak Achuil thanked the parliament for passing the budget.

“They have really worked very hard and they have passed the budget of fiscal year 2021/2022. I say thank you so much and that gives me now a chance to go and continue to prepare the budget of 2022 and 2023 such that we can table it on time,” Achuil said.

South Sudan has only three months to finalize the fiscal year 2021/2022 budget.

It is reported that the budget passed by the national legislature has already been spent.

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