Salaries, peace deal allocated huge share of 2022-2023 budget

Salaries, peace deal allocated huge share of 2022-2023 budget
Minister of Finance and Planning Agak Achuil Deng (L) holds a $ 43.7 million grant agreement with Themba Bhebhe, African Development Bank Manager (R) in Juba on Thursday, February 3, 2022 (Photo: Kitab Unango/ The City Review)

Salary expenses and the implementation of the Revitalised Peace Agreement will consume the giant share of the fiscal year budget for 2022–2023.

The government has allocated SSP198.2 billion for wages and salaries, according to the draft budget approved by the cabinet and tabled in Parliament for review yesterday. Another SSP of 15 billion is allocated for the implementation of the revitalised peace agreement.

The Minister of Finance and Planning, Agak Achuil, who presented the budget to the Parliament yesterday for consideration by the lawmakers, said he is confident that it will consolidate peace and stabilise the economy to realise economic growth and sustainable development.

He noted that the macroeconomic challenges the country is facing require sound economic policies to move towards stability and sustainable economic recovery.

Agak said the high oil prices and the continued improvement in non-oil would increase the resource envelope in fiscal years 2022 and 2023. At the same time, he stated that there are an urgent need for increased spending.

“We need to commit ourselves to ensure public resources are used efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all South Sudanese.”

“First, the unification of the armed forces that was agreed in April 2022 implies an increase in the number of military personnel of about two-thirds, which increases the wage bill.

“In addition, to mitigate the impact of sharply higher food and fuel prices, the FY 2022/2023 draft budget includes an upwards adjustment of 20 per cent in the pay scale for all public sector employees, “the Minister explained in the budget speech.

South Sudan is a small and open economy which is easily affected by what happens within the global economic system, particularly by the current enormous stress from climate changes, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

However, Agak stated that global growth is expected to moderate from 5.9 per cent in 2021 and warned that it is expected to slow down further to 3.8 per cent in 2023.

“These declines are expected to be accelerated by higher inflation caused by energy higher prices and supply chain problems”