National, News

Activist calls for robust scrutiny of Budget

By Bida Elly David

A civil Society activist has called on the parliament to critically scrutinize and analyze the new national budget, prioritizing agriculture and health.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director for the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said failure to scrutinize the budget may lead the Country to suffer most.

He argued that passing the budget without scrutiny and the amendment will be an indication that the august house wants the Country to move towards crisis.

“I call upon the leadership of the parliament that they should demonstrate their role to readjust the budget as a method to respond to the best interests of the citizens,” he said.

Yakani stated that the lawmakers, in their budget analysis, should consider prioritizing the agricultural sector as a key to combating food insecurity.

“The best interest of citizens is defined through better allocation of resources to the general education sector, infrastructure, health and agriculture, using the Maputu protocol for 10% allocation for food security,” he stressed.

CEPO’s boss noted that South Sudan, being one of the members of the Maputu Protocol, ought to put much of its focus on prioritizing some of the mandates within the agreement, as stated.

He said that the budget should also be allocated for the constitutional-making process for issues concerning elections and should be inclusive.

Yakani also noted that allocating a specific budget for people with disabilities is another key role that the parliament should play significantly.

He, however, underscored that the budget for the Constituency development fund should remain as it is for implementation.

“We don’t want to see a budget that is very exclusive. So our constituency development fund that is enshrined in the budget should remain as it is and should not be played around with,” Yakani underlined.

He said that the CDF money ought to be approved and released by the Ministry of Finance to enable parliamentarians to reach their constituents in their respective constituencies.

The national minister of finance has tabled a national budget of over SSP 2 trillion for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

The proposed budget has allocated over SSP 455 Billion for salaries and wages, SSP 50 Billion for implementation of peace agreement, and over SSP 47 Billion for constituency development fund (CDF).



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