By Bonifacio Taban
October 23, 2013 (JUBA) - The council of ministers in South Sudan’s Unity state passed the budget for the 2013 to 2014 financial year on l 18 October but still needs to be approved by state lawmakers before coming into effect.
The budget for the oil-rich state was reduced due to austerity measures introduced after a dispute with Sudan meant that South Sudan could not export its oil through to Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast.
Oil-production was stopped in January 2012 and only resumed in April 2013.
Nyaliep John Dak is the Unity state government spokeswoman said the new bill increases the budget from what it had been reduced to as part of the austerity measures.
Unity state’s council of ministers, she said, has approved 200.38milions South Sudanese pounds to cover the government expenditure between period of 2013 and 2014. She said the new government budget will help provide services to citizens.
“When we approved the budget and it looks different compare to previous year budget, we have top up an increase of about 46,000 with previous budget so that the situation faced by everyone during austerities measures will come down”, said Dak.
Authorities in the area say they will receive 5% of oil revenue generated from the state’s fields in order to boost development. Dak said the government will allocate 3% of revenues to oil producing counties with 2% going to support the state government.