The South Sudanese Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Kosti Manibe Ngai presents the 2012/13 budget before the national assembly. [Gurtong/ Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 20 June 2012 [Gurtong] - Dubbed the ‘austerity budget’, the Minister said the budget objectively targets orderly reduction of expenditure while providing basic services and maintaining core functions of the state.
He said the budget aims at ensuring that South Sudan becomes a united and peaceful new nation by 2014.
“This budget seeks to ensure the building strong foundations for good governance, economic prosperity and enhanced quality of life for all South Sudanese”, said Ngai.
He announced strict measures while calling for the cooperation and commitment of the legislative body to strengthen and ensure they are implemented to minimise mismanagement of public funds.
“I call upon the August House to ensure the implementation of the Public Finance Management and Accountability Act passed last year to ensure transparency and discipline in the implementation of the budget”, he said.
He said payment of public servants’ salaries will be done in accordance with the laws of South Sudan which demands that payment scales and procedures set by the Minister of Public Service and all housing allowances shall be reduced from the previously approved amounts by 50 percent.
“No job specific allowances shall be paid except that employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who work outside the country shall receive allowances pursuant to the schedule previously used for Regional Liaison Officers. All salaries of public servants except the one of the Ministry of Defense shall all be paid through an electronic system”, said the Minister.
He announced cost-cutting measures in efforts to cushion against the effects of the January oil shut down.
The budget was handed over to the Parliamentary Committee on Economy and Planning for scrutiny before the second reading within three weeks.