National, News

Lawmakers slam minister for demanding budgetary increment

By Bida Elly David

National legislators on Wednesday lashed at the minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Albino Akol Atak, for demanding an increment in the budgetary allocation to his docket.

The lawmakers said that instead of directing his complaint to the Parliament, the executive would have addressed the concern of the minister and indicated it in the budget.

Parliamentarians silenced the minister and ordered him to stay mute, urging him to table his concerns before the council of ministers, not the legislative assembly.

The minister had decried lack of funding to respond to situations of vulnerable citizens in the country and requested the parliament to allocate more funds to his docket.

Minister Albino Akol Atak plead to lawmakers to consider topping up the budget to humanitarian Affairs docket with contingency allocation.

The new national 2023–24 fiscal budget is in its second reading before the national Assembly casts much focus on salary increments for civil servants and organized forces.

Minister Albino, while addressing the lawmakers, said that there are thousands of displaced citizens and refugees in the Country who are starving and lacked medical assistance due to inadequate funding.

“While you are trying to examine and make balance on the approval of the budget, we want to tell you that all people in South Sudan are not all civil servants and organized forces,” he told MPs.

The minister said that there are services that the government renders to people who are not included in the budget, “and those are the vulnerable.”

“I want to remind you to be mindful of those categories of people who are not included in the budget,” he said.

The humanitarian affairs minister said that, excluding vulnerable people from the resource envelope, categorically, distorts the theory of balancing service delivery.

“The vulnerable people need to be included in the budget because they are badly affected by climate change shocks that have happened for the last 4 years,” Albino added.

He hinted that most of the vulnerable people lost several means of livelihood, having no option other than to live at the mercy of God.

Minister Albino reiterated the need for allocations to returnees fleeing Sudan back to South Sudan due to the ongoing war.

“These people may need transportation to their various places. We cannot cater for this if there is no contingency put in place within the budget,” Albino noted.

He said that there are still a greater number of people coming from Sudan with a projected population that might be half a Million by the end of this year.

“Our returnees that are coming nowadays from Sudan due to the crisis that has become another concern. I see their suffering with my own eyes and examine how seriously these people suffer,” he stressed.

He emphasized that the suffering of the citizens should not be taken for granted since they are citizens of South Sudan.

“These people need our attention as the government of the republic of South Sudan and, in first place, the assembly of this Country,” the minister explained.

Minister Albino suggested that the budget contingency allocation be used in such emergencies to cater for unexpected scenarios that the Country may encounter at any time.

“The emergency or contingency is where we cover those who are not part of the civil servants and the organized forces within the budget,” Albino echoed.

Comments are closed.