By Mangu Victor
Western Equatoria State Legislative Assembly has rejected a draft budget for the fiscal year 2022/2023 after it took long to be tabled before the August House.
Yesterday, the State Minister of Finance, Willam Adreano Baiki showed up in parliament and presented the budget for the last fiscal year.
However, that did not go well with the Members of Parliament thrashed it and demanded that the new budget for the fiscal year 2023/2024 be presented.
Chairperson for Information in the State Assembly, Mary Sungu Yoere said the parliament will not pass the dead budget and they are waiting for the Finance Minister to present the new one.
She emphasized that they are not against anyone but are doing what is in the constitution for the welfare of the Government of Western Equatoria State.
“We are not in the parliament by ourselves self but we are representing our community and we not against anybody but we are doing what is in our constitution for the welfare of the Government of Western Equatoria State,” she stressed.
During his presentation to the August House, the state minister of Finance and Planning, Willam Adreano Baiki, cited Article 84 of the Transitional Constitution of Western Equatoria State 2011 as amended 2015, which mandates the Governor, represented by the state minister of Finance, Planning, and Investment, to prepare and present to the Revitalized Legislative Assembly the estimates for each fiscal year for discussion and approval.
Despite the formidable challenges that the state encountered in 2022/2023, such as the delay in the integration of civil servants, the budget ceiling of SSP 8,602,286,554 was given to the state three months prior to the end of the financial year.
However, this delay in the submission of the budget ceiling to all 10 states and three administration areas resulted in less transfer compared to the actual figure reflected on the ceiling, the minister explained.
Baiki further explained that of the total ceiling budget for the fiscal year 2022/2023, only SSP 2,304,000,000 was transferred, and the outstanding balance of SSP 6,298,286,554 is still with the National Ministry of Finance.
The delay in budget approval has caused concerns among the community, and it remains to be seen how the State Government will address the situation and ensure transparency in budget allocation and approval process.