By Philip Buda Ladu
The government is engaging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fund the country’s fiscal year budget deficit, the undersecretary for planning in the National Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said on Wednesday.
South Sudan’s fiscal year runs from July to June every year, however no new budget proposal has been presented to the Council of Ministers as the Transitional National Legislature-the institution that passes it to the President for Signing is yet to be reconstituted.
A few months ago, President Salva Kiir reportedly issued a memo, requiring the government to continue operating on a supplementary budget.
According to media reports, the Economic Cluster in the unity government has approved a 60-Billion-Pound supplementary budget, in effect extending the fiscal year 2019/2020 budget.
Undersecretary Ocum Genes told journalists on Wednesday after emerging from a meeting with IMF officials it is evidenced that the country will have a fiscal gap in the budget.
Undersecretary Genes however declined to mention the estimated figures of the budget deficit the government want IMF to fund.
He said their meeting culminated into the IMF giving them Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) which is given to every Country that has been hit by global economic crisis.
“So for us we have been having engagements with the IMF since June in which we have shown to them the deficit in our budget that we shall be having a fiscal gap in the budget, so they have accepted but they still need more technical discussions with us and the next step will be entering into details on when and how they will now forward to us the RCF,” Genes said.
The undersecretary said they have requested the RCF which is a financial help to solve their financial problems in the future such as giving more fund to the productive sector like Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, mining.
Genes proclaimed that funding those sectors would create jobs for the Youths.
“That was what they have discussed with them and when it comes to action that will be their area of focus including infrastructures.
When questioned where the country’s budget was, Genes admitted they could not meet the deadline for budget Circle transition due to situation the Country.
“The government is currently working with a supplementary budget, spending mostly in paying Civil Servants salaries, security and Covid-19 related items with money generated from the non-oil revenues.”
They have already prepared a resource envelope but how shall they fund the budget plan he questioned!
“With the fallibility of the oil revenues and even the tax revenues we prepared three scenarios, however none of the three can give us a surplus budget but only result to deficit that’s why there will be a fiscal gap and we are engaging the international community to support the government of South Sudan to fund the gap.”