National, News

All eyes on Kiir to resolve budget impasse

By William Madouk


As the country enters its third day without a formal budget for the fiscal year 2024/2025, attention has turned to President Salva Kiir as lawmakers in the national parliament and the Minister of Finance seek a resolution to the budgetary impasse.

The delay in finalizing the budget has raised concerns, with the former spokesperson of the national legislative assembly, John Agany, expressing worry about how the government would operate.

“The day before yesterday, June 30, 2024, our national budget expenditure has been closed. And up to now, we do not know the national budget’s whereabouts?” said Agany.

He questioned how the country would function without a formal budget in place during this period.

“Definitely, this time we have spent the last budget and I don’t know we will use what budget because we did not pass any budget” he added. “So, what is the fate of this year’s budget and how will you be spending? Will government offices close down or what will you do?”

In response, Minister of Finance, Eng. Awow Daniel explained that the budget for FY 2024/25 was passed by the Economic cluster and now awaiting the cabinet’s approval. It will later be tabled before the August House.

“The budget is actually passed in the Economic cluster and last week it was supposed to be passed by Council of Minister but there was no Council of Ministers’ meeting,” Awow said.

Last week, the Economic cluster ministries nodded at a draft budget for FY 2024/25 in a tune of 2.4 trillion South Sudanese pounds.

“Maybe, this week it is going to be passed then we are going to bring it to you in the August House,” he added.

He said, when the financial year ends, all books are regularly closed. However, they are seeking an exemption for budget continuity as the new budget undergoes changes.

“We seek exemption for us to run before the new budget is passed because we cannot close it and continue to be closed.”

“We are only seeking the announcement! because I have already served the approval from His Excellency – so it is already there, it is going to be announced only – so, there is now issue.”

By law, the fiscal year budget ends on June 30 and a new budget starts on July 1 every year.

Another lawmaker, Bishop Gabriel Roric disagreed with Awow for hastiness in declaring the closure of the financial year without the President’s consent.

“When the budget time to be close comes, it’s automatically at that time but he [Awow] has to seek permission from the president,” he remarked.

“The president is to decree that, because the budget is not outlet the old budget continues until the [new] budget is out,” Roric explained.

Besides, lawmaker Justine Joseph, representing Maridi agreed with Awow citing that Article 90 sub-Article 3 which says “where the procedure of adopting the general budget and the appropriation bill is delayed beyond the beginning of the financial year.

“Expenditure shall continue, pending adoption of the general budget, in accordance with the estimates approved for the previous year, as if the same has been appropriated by law for the new year.”

House Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba said they would consult President Salva Kiir over the matter of budget and recess.

“This consultation will be made, we are going to do it together with issue concern to the president and also on the other issue of recess we are going to consult with his excellency,” said Nunu.






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