In front of the South Sudanese parliament last week, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Kosti Manibe Ngai laid out the 6.4 billionSSP austerity budget
. Public sector salaries remain the largest chunk of the budget at 64 percent, while 60 percent of the budget has been allocated to law and order and security sectors.
Ngai told parliament that the budget consists of public sector job cuts and major cuts to areas like incentives, foreign travel and housing allowances and overtime for all government employees, including government forces.
"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. “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.”
Sources are also speculating that the administration may reshuffle the cabinet and reduce the number of executive ministries. This has not been made official and was not introduced in the austerity budget.
During an interview with a local news outlet, Yei Town Member of Parliament Bidale Moses said this proposed budget, which will take into effect in July, consists of much what was in last year’s budget.
“For example what appears in the last budget re-appears again so that means what have been passed kept appearing and it will still appear like the SSTV building a new station for SSTV in which we passed and allocated over 5 million SSP. This time it resurfaced again,” Moses told Miraya
. “We have not seen anything tangible except we are going to summon concerned minsters to answer.”
The Sudan Tribune
reports that South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit met with governors of the country’s 10 states. The discussions mostly focused on the austerity measures taking place and he encouraged the governors to start tightening their belts.
Kiir explained to the governors that the federal austerity budget will cut the amount of block grants that are allocated to the states as well as capital expenditures.
After the meeting, Governor of Lakes state Chol Tong Mayay made a brief statement to the press and confirmed what was talked about.
The global economic downturn has severely hurt South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last year. The government made the decision to shut down production
of its only export, oil. This generated 98 percent of the government’s revenues.