WES: Minister tables SSP 2.8 billion fiscal budget to Parliament

By Alex Digi

Western Equatoria State Minister of Finance, Planning and Investment has presented the draft budget for fiscal year 2021/2022 to the state legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

The State Minister of Finance William Andreano Baiki said the budget delayed for its tabling to assembly because they were still working on it with technical committee to present to the State council of ministers for approval.

“With your permission, please allow me to present the FY 2021/2022 draft budget before the August House for intensive deliberation and the approval,” the minister said.

The budget ceiling tabled to the assembly was to the tune of two billion eight hundred, eighty-eight million, one hundred and eighty-two thousand (2,888,182,000) South Sudanese Pounds.

According the minister, the budget being tabled is more than that of previous financial year as it stood at 2.2 million pounds (2,238,467,835) SSP” only.

Minister Baiki said the State economy was affected by some factors including the inter-communal conflict that ravaged Tambura County and the roadblock by the National Salvation Front (NAS) rebels in Mundri.

He said the conflict was responded to –by deployment of forces, relocation of armed group for training and provision of support to the displacements which contributed to the down weight of economy.

Baiki stressed that consolidation of peace and political stabilization in the state was the first priorities of the state Administration during the previous fiscal year.

“The sustainability of those security operations continue to date and has taken more weight on the revenue, on side of eastern counties, NAS rebel continue to attack people along the road between Mundri East and Mundri West and this creates insecurity fears among the road users,” he underlined.

“I would also like to inform the august house about impassable road between Mundri and Maridi counties which affects the state in terms of revenue collection,” he continued.

The finance minister reiterated that in light of the aforementioned challenges, the state continue to weaken in terms of local revenue collections.

Baiki however highlighted some achievement in terms of development together with partners.

He cited the construction of police stations by UNMISS, establishment of security lights at Yambio Main Market and Masia, and construction of Yubu Bridge along Nzara-Sakure road.

He said the other issue affecting the economy in the country is hard Currency rate, adding the state plans to increase taxes.

“In that regard, the following measures have been taken or are being considered to diversify the state tax base and increase the revenue”

Meanwhile Speaker of the State assembly, Rt. Hon. Wakile Charles welcomed the budget and committed it to the assembly specialized committee for economy to scrutinize the budget and return to the assembly in two weeks for its final deliberation and passing.

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