A new national budget presented to South Sudan’s parliament today by the finance ministry allocates billions for military operations in spite of a peace signed by the government last year.
The fiscal year 2016/2017 draft budget is estimated to be 22.3 billion pounds and about 11.045 billion of it will go for the security sector.
Speaking on Tuesday during the presentation of the draft budget, Finance Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau said that the security outlay is mostly for salaries. “The bulk of this will be used to pay salaries for the army and veterans, but we have also made allocations of one billion nine hundred eighty three million South Sudanese pounds (SSP 1,983 million) for operation costs and three hundred and seven million South Sudanese Pounds for ‘new capital’ expenditures.”
Another SSP 5 billion is allocated for ‘peace expenditure’, some of which may also be disbursed through security organs or through the presidency. SSP 177 million will be for the social and humanitarian affairs sector. Meanwhile, the infrastructure sector will receive SSP 466 million. 1 billion is allocated for education sector.
The finance minister apologized to the parliament for a delay in presenting the budget. “As you know, I have recently taken my post as minister for Finance and Planning. It is in these circumstances, and with apologies, that the draft budget is presented to you three months into the 2016/2017 fiscal year,” Minister Dhieu said.
Dhieu claimed that his government is going to improve net oil revenues this fiscal year to SSP 7238 million. Non-oil revenues to be estimated at SSP 9,256 million during this year and grant from donors expected to amount to SSP 2,041 million.
He also tabled a taxation amendment bill.
For his part, Hon Anthony Lino Makana, the speaker of the house referred the draft budget to the Specialized Committees before further deliberation of its second readings within 21 days.