National, News

NO BUDGET: No salaries as gov’t freezes spendings

By Kei Emmanuel Duku


South Sudan’s Ministry of Finance and Planning has halted all government spendings as the country now operates without an active budget.

The freeze on government expenditure comes after the previous fiscal year 2023/2024 budget expired on June 30th.

The fiscal year 2024/2025 Budget is yet to be tabled before the cabinet or the Transitional National Legislative Assembly.

A circular issued by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and obtained by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper cites the Public Financial Management and Accountability Act (PFMA Act 2011) as the basis for the suspension of government spending.

“The Ministry informs the general public that all payments and spending have been suspended until further notice,” the circular read.

Malual Tap Dieu, the First Undersecretary in the Ministry, stated that the Ministry would not process new payment requests until the budget is reviewed and approved by the Assembly.

The move has created a budgetary impasse, leaving government ministries, agencies, and public service providers without funds to carry out their operations and deliver essential services to citizens.

The budget gridlock could have far-reaching consequences on the fragile economy, with already civil servants going for months without pay.

This delay has sparked concern among lawmakers. Hon. Juol Nhomngek, Member of Parliament (MP) from Lake State representing Cueibet County under the Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO), expressed his dissatisfaction with the slow progress on the budget.

During a parliamentary session on Monday, Nhomngek called for the Minister of Finance to be summoned and explain the reasons behind the delay.

“According to regulation 119 of the conduct of business of the Parliament, the new FY 2024/25 budget should be in place,” he argued.

“We need to know the status of the budget and the Minister’s plan. We cannot operate like this is normal. East African countries have already passed their budgets.”

In response, Speaker Rt. Hon. Jemma Nunu Kumba assured lawmakers that the Minister of Finance and Planning will be present to present two quarterly reports on Tuesday.

“The Minister will be here tomorrow (Today),” she said. “That’s when you can ask him about the budget delay. As of now, he is not available and cannot provide a comprehensive response.”

By law, the new budget should have been passed on July 1st. However, there is no indication yet of the budget being presented to the Council of Ministers/Cabinet, or the National Assembly.

This marks the second day that South Sudan is operating without a formally approved budget.

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