Cabinet approves a historic trillion budget

Cabinet approves a historic trillion budget
Specimen: South Sudanese Pound notes. [Photo: Courtesy]

The Council of Ministers in its regular sitting yesterday approved SSP 1.3 trillion for the fiscal 2022/2023 budget for the first time in the history of the country.

The initial draft proposal submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the cabinet last Friday for the financial year 2022/2023 was SSP 862 billion.

The amendment came after the cabinet decided last Friday to review the budget’s ceiling envelope and directed the ministry of finance to sit together with the undersecretaries of concerned ministries to address concerns before it is resubmitted to the cabinet.

Addressing the press after the council of ministers meeting, Michael Makuei, the Minister of Information and Government’s Spokesperson, said the cabinet had amended the budget with a deficit of SSP 558, 669, 980, 774, and available gross resources are SSP 832, 806, 935, 678 SSP.

“This is the financial gap. So, if you add this to available resources, the budget will be within the range of SSP 1.3 trillion. This amount is the budget for this year, “Makuei said. 

“As I said, this deficit will be covered by increasing collection of non-oil revenues and by increasing the production in the oil sector and possibly by borrowing from other countries to cover the cost.”

“The budget is budgeted on a deficit. There is a financial gap. The minister of finance has been fully authorised to find out funding for these to cover these gaps in the budget. This presentation was discussed and after thorough discussion and the budget was passed, “he stated.

Meanwhile, Makuei stressed that the minister of finance, Agak Achuil, has been directed to seek other sources of funding to close the financial gap.

He revealed that the revenue-generating institutions such as the petroleum and national revenue authorities have been directed to increase revenue generation to support the budget.

According to him, the new budget’s priorities are the implementation of the peace agreement, and agriculture to enhance food production to ensure food for the citizens in waves of war in Ukraine.

However, this is the country’s largest proposed budget since the establishment of the government in 2005. 

Budget adjusted

Last year, the cabinet approved a draft budget of SSP 287 billion, which was later amended to SSP 387 billion by the parliament.

The approved fiscal year budget for 2017/2018 was SSP 46,593 million, the budget estimate for 2016/2017 was SSP 33,855 million, an increase of SSP 23,551 million (or 229%) over the budgeted levels for 2015/16, and the approved fiscal year for 2015/2016 was SSP 10,650,653,179.