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Non-oil revenues not enough to pay salaries-Ngor

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan national minister of finance, Dier Tong Ngor said non-oil revenue collections are not enough to pay the salaries of the civil servants.

Minister Tong was summoned by lawmakers to answer MPs questions on the deteriorating economic situation of the Country and the irregularities in paying civil servants’ salaries.

Defending himself during Tuesday’s sitting, Minister Dier said the collections from the National Revenue Authority from the custom duties are not enough to cater for civil servants and organized forces salaries.

He instead blamed the delay in paying salaries for civil servants and organized forces to the crisis in Sudan and external debts.

“It is correct that we receive the money from the National revenue authority, but the money of the NRA cannot be enough to pay salaries let me be frank in regards” he said.

“As I speak, the average amount that we receive every month is around SSP 15 billion,” the minister added.

Minister Tong said that the monthly collection from the national revenue authority has only been used for paying government operations including the activities of the parliament.

“We use NRA money for government operations chapter two and the money that we pay every month to the parliament for all the spending agencies, is this same money from the NRA,” Tong told MPs.

“We have a cargo that we use for salaries and then use the NRA money to run the government. We always announce what we get from the NRA and share it to the public,”

Minister Tong did not however clarify how the Sudanese war delayed payment of civil servants as he claimed in his submission to the August House.

However, dissatisfied parliamentarians rubbished the financial narrative of minister Tong particularly on the scenario of dwelling on the oil being the only source of revenues to the government.

Legislator John Agany said Tong’s narrative was just a defensive mechanism meant to escape facts.

He slammed the finance minister of using the Sudanese crisis and the oil debts as scapegoat to cover weaknesses and failures.

“The honorable minister is dwelling on oil saying that all the payments are delayed because of problem of Sudan and the supposition from people who were supposed to pay the money. The revenue authority is collecting a lot of money daily to the ministry,” he said.

Agany termed Tong’s defense statement as lame warning him of being an intimate partner to the revenue authority over unjustifiable truth.

Following the pressure from the legislators, Minister Tong became speechless and requested to answer other questions when tabling the fiscal year budget next week.

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