National, News

National Budget back to parliament, today

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan legislators are set to discuss 2023-2024 national budgets, today after the Committee of Finance and Planning spent 3 weeks reviewing it.

They will analyze the budget in detail to determine if it’s ready for the third and final approval.

The finance minister, Dier Tong Ngor originally presented the budget to parliament in June. The speaker then referred it to the finance committee for a thorough study.

Parliament spokesperson John Agany said the discussion was originally scheduled for Tuesday but was postponed due to political party caucus meetings.

“The seating did not happen on Tuesday because members of the parliament were asked to join their political parties at caucus meetings. All the caucuses have been so busy that there was no way for it to happen,” he said.

He however criticized the opposition for discussing the budget at their caucus, calling it unlawful.

The SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus had questioned the lack of prioritization on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement in the budget.

The first deputy speaker who is also the SPLM-IO’s deputy chairperson said the national budget is totally irrelevant to President Salva Kiir’s address on peace and elections mentioned in his independence speech.

But Agany refused to disclose details of their ruling party’s caucus meeting.

The proposed 2 trillion South Sudanese pound budget focuses on increasing salaries for the military and civil servants.

The finance minister said revenues will come from oil, non-oil sources, and grants.

The budget allocates over 455 billion pounds for salaries and wages, over 50 billion for implementing the peace agreement, and over 47 billion for constituency development funds.

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