By Akol Madut Ngong
The National Legislature has directed the national Ministries of; Cabinet Affairs, Petroleum and Finance and Economic Planning to recover 3.3 billion USD from joint operation companies (JOCs) extending from 9th, July, 2011 to 31st December 2018.
These directives from the legislature to the three ministries came during the deliberation of the 2022/2023 fiscal year budget in its third and final reading on Tuesday by the parliament.
The chairperson of parliamentary standing specialized committee for finance and planning in his presentation of their report on the fiscal budget in the third reading stage observed that the JOCs owed the government 3.3 billion dollars arrears that needed to be recovered.
The chairperson of the committee, Changkuoth Bichiock Reth said article 177(2) of the constitution authorizes the National Government to raise revenues or collect taxes from the following sources: petroleum, gas, minerals and other natural resources through taxation and foreign trade exchange.
He stated that that the committee found out that the Ministry of Petroleum has not been supervising and reviewing all explorations, productions and sharing agreement (EPSAs) and conducting Environmental Audit in the oil producing Areas regularly.
The committee further recommended that the oil transfer of 2% and 3% to oil producing states and communities respectively are to be regularly remitted,
“He also emphasized that the recipient states and communities are supposed to utilize those resources for their own developmental needs, in accordance with section 3(1) (3) of the petroleum revenue management Act, 2013 which stipulates 55% to the oil producing counties in the state, 45% to other non-petroleum producing counties in the state”.
The august house thereafter directed that these transfers should be implemented in accordance to the above section for the respective community Development Committee (CDCs).
“In accordance with article 37 of the transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 (as amended) on economic objectives, wealth shall be allocated in a manner that will enable each level of government to discharge its legal and constitutional responsibilities and duties to ensure that the quality of life and dignity of all people are promoted without discrimination on ground of gender, religious, ethnicity and language,” he noted.