Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kosti Manibe speaking to the press in Juba. [Gurtong | Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA, 21 September 2012 [Gurtong] - The Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kosti Manibe told the press in Juba that, the move to maintain the austerity measures is to strengthen efforts on managing the economy and avoid shortfalls that occurred based on lessons learned.
“The austerity measures will continue to remain in place until the end of the fiscal year 2012/2013 even if we sign an agreement with Khartoum,” he said.
Manibe was optimistic that the two countries; Sudan and South Sudan will agree on a deal this weekend and said that oil will resume after four months if the parties reach an agreement.
Juba and Khartoum are locked for peace talks in Addis Ababa to strike a deal on all the post secession issues; oil, Abyei, border demarcation, security and citizenship under an AU backed roadmap in support of the UN Security Council.
The Presidents of the two countries are expected to cement the deal on 23 September.
It will be a blessing if the two countries strike a deal, otherwise, Kosti warned of a continuous economic crisis in the infant nation should the two countries fail to resolve the issues.
He said South Sudan will only resume oil production using an extra pipeline in two years time.
He however, pointed out that, given government’s plan in intensifying revenue collections, there have been great projections. He said the collections are tripling efforts government had on collection of non oil revenues before the shutdown of the oil.
“Given our performance, it is likely we will exceed the projections,” he said adding that we must remain vigilant as it is a matter of time and government will minimise the crisis.
Kosti said more emphasis have been laid down on how to activate some of the dormant non oil revenue sectors including forestry, tourism and agriculture in which he said could supplement the oil revenues.
However, government is involved in massive borrowing which economists have remained concerned as it creates financial challenges ahead of strategies aimed at hitting the crisis.