By Taban Henry
The Transitional National Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a whopping record 1.4 trillion South Sudanese Pounds as the fiscal year budget for 2022/2023 financial year.
Earlier in August, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning tabled the 2022/2023 fiscal year budget.
In early August, the former National Minister of Finance and Planning tabled the first draft budget of 1.3 trillion South Sudanese Pounds as the fiscal year budget for the financial year 2022-2023.
The fiscal budget was presented at the floor of Parliament for further scrutiny and deliberation by the legislature before its final approval and passing.
The presentation of the budget to the parliament comes about two months later when the Council of Ministers in early June passed the SSP 1.3 trillion as the draft fiscal budget for the financial year 2022/2023.
In a statement to the media, the Chairperson for the Standing Specialized Committee for Finance and Economic Planning Changkuoth Bichock Reth said that the parliament has passed the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget.
He affirmed this year’s budget is 1.4 trillion South Sudanese Pounds passed, saying it was the same budget passed by the Cabinet.
He added that out of this budget SSP 560 billion is deficit and the available resource that they have is SSP 715 billion from the oil revenue meanwhile 117 billion is from non-oil revenue which sums up to 832 billion South Sudanese pounds and the final budget is estimated at 1.4 trillion.
“This budget was just passed by the August House in totality; they are there in the financial bill too, where all the taxes the country will be collecting as of when it is signed by the President. We will have a new collection that will be done in the new financial bill that the people are now obliged to pay those taxes to the just passed financial bill,” he said.
He said the details of the new budget will soon be published so that you will have the final one, where all the amendments will be put and then it will be made public then every citizen will know what he or she has to pay for.
He however stated that among them, they have a strong recommendation that the logbook will only be paid once so people will have their logbooks which will not be renewed unless you sell your car and then now it will be changed to the other person with the new logbook otherwise the logbook is made only once.
“This is what we want the public to know that you will never renew your logbook like the other years where you are asked to renew your logbook after every one year. The other issue is the issue of salaries for the civil servants, organized forces and the army,” he added.
The finance chairperson stated that the parliament is concerned about the salaries which they wanted to pass but they are waiting for the executive who are still preparing the bill.
He however said that they ordered the Minister of Finance to table the new emolument bill for the civil servants, organized forces and the army including the recently graduated forces who will also be added to the list of the new salaries structure.
“The parliament is waiting when the new salary structure is brought, it will not take us time but we will pass it immediately so that our citizens also enjoy because we know what ever the citizen is getting now is not really enough. They are getting 2,000 pounds, 3,000 and 4,000 pounds which is really nothing to the living standard,” he noted.
Bichock further underscored that they also have the issue of deficit budget which is nowhere to be found citing it as some of the things which the executive is trying to identify where they can get resources from somewhere so that the issue of salaries is realized.
He added that the parliament is also concerned to make sure that all the leakages, whatever is taking their money has to be found out so that the public money is shared equally so that all the people who fought for this country really enjoy.