Home | News    Wednesday 6 August 2014

South Sudan losing “billions” in tax exemptions

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

August 5, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan lost billions as a result of tax exemptions on imported goods and telecommunication operators last year, the parliamentary committee on economy and finance told the country’s lawmakers Tuesday.

A heated debated ensured in the assembly with lawmakers demanding that finance minister, Aggrey Tisa Sabuni be tasked to explain the discrepancies and what they said was a violations of the constitution.

“The committee has discovered that customs exemptions amounted to SSP 627,863,418 (or SSP 627.9 million – about US $209 million) during the fiscal year 2013/2014”, Goc Makuac Mayol, the chairperson of the committee told the assembly during the second reading of the 2014/2015 budget.

Minister Sabuni presented the proposed budget to parliament on 2 July. The parliamentary select committee, however, said the delay to debate the budget was to enable is members study the document identify mistakes, make recommendations for restructuring of the budget and seek explanations from various government spending agencies on last year’s expenditure of the budget.

The entire budget, Makuac said, showed that South Sudan’s economy was fragile due to “dependency on oil, limited domestic production and high reliance on imports".

“The non-oil sector is still dominated by low productivity and subsistence agricultural activities accounting for about 15% of the Growth Domestic Product, but engaging 78% of the population,” he said.

TELECOM COMPANIES EXEMPT

The parliamentary committee on finance recommends diversification of the economy through disciplined revenue collections. 2014/2015 budget is mainly funded through oil revenue, non-oil revenue such as profit income tax, value added tax and business profit tax which all telecommunication mobile operators are exempted by ministry of telecommunications.

“Telecommunication is a major revenue generating agency. Despite this, their contribution to the national treasury is below expectations,” Makuac said, reading from a prepared committee document.

MTN mobile operation paid SSP over 10 million for frequency fees and over SSP 29 million for excise duty, Zain paid over SSP 6 million and 35 million for frequency fees and excise duty respectively in 2013/2014 budget. Vivacell mobile operator is exempted from paying frequency fees and excise duty, which the telecommunications minister described as a “contract mistakes”.

All mobile operators, except Gemtel, do not pay profit and business taxes costing “millions or billions annually” in financial lost to the government.

“The committee observed that the Gateway system acquired in 2008 with the purpose of regulating all operators in the country is not operational and as a result the government is losing millions if not billions of pounds annually,” Makuac said.

For a period running June 2013 -July 2014, the committee said, total revenue customs collection amounted to SSP 528 million and “exemptions in the same period amounted to SSP 627,863,418 giving a total grant of SSP 1,156,414,471.”

“This huge discrepancy in customs collection generates a lot of questions to be answered by the minister of finance and economic planning,” Makuac said.

The deputy finance minister, Jakor Kengen, however, told lawmakers that more time was needed to study the findings, recommendations and restructuring proposals of the lawmakers before any response.

Telecommunication minister, Rebecca Joshua, said she inherited mobile operators’ licenses that allowed exemptions for taxes, but promised to recoup government funds at large.

“There is contract mistake that happened before I came to the ministry. We are working very hard. We have already worked on documents. It has to be corrected so that we give ourselves a chance to recoup a lot of our money that is still at large,” Joshua told MPs.

The country’s lawmakers failed to debate on the budget on Monday due to total power blackout. Tuesday session lasted four hours.

OVERSPENDING, UNDERFUNDED

The budget debate disclosed that while some ministries are spending out of budgeted funds, others are being underfunded.

“Approved budget for financial year 2013/2014 for the ministry of finance and economic planning was wages and salaries as SSP 151,737,677 and the overturn in six months was SSP 131,447,760. This indicates that the budget for salaries and wages almost got exhausted just in six months,” Makuac said adding that “there is discrepancy in the budget of the ministry of finance which is a violation of the Appropriation Act 2013/2014.”

“Ministry of education, science and technology transfers only 35% by December 2013. [That means] it was underfunded by June 2014,” said Onyoti Adigo, the leader of minority in parliament.

Ministry of health received only 14% of the money budgeted for by December 2013 as well as does the ministry of agriculture which got 11% in the same period.
Other leading spenders include the office of the president which spent 102% by December 2013 and ministry of road (spending 254.7% by December 2013).

“Which roads were constructed with this huge amount of money above the approved budget? It (the spending) [went] more that 500% by June 2014,” Adigo said.

However, the ruling SPLM dominated house passed the propose budget for third reading due next week.

Makuac said his committee will meet relevant government spending agencies and top officials from the ministry of finance to incorporate MPs’ views for restructuring before being blessed.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 August 2014 07:51, by tootke’bai-ngo

    YEAH! YEAH YEAH!!!! SO LOOTING CONTINUE HUH? THE FISCAL BUDGET JULY 2013-JULY 2014 SHOWN THAT KIIR OFFICE SPENT 102% IN FIRST 6 MONTHS ONLY WHILE NATIONAL SPENT ON AGRICULTURE WAS JUST 11% IN THE SAME GIVEN PERIOD. SO WHO IS LOOTING THE COUNTRY NOW? THE SO-CALLED DISGRUNTLED SPLM OFFICIALS OR KIIR HIMSELF? NO MATTER HOW MANY RESHUFFLES KIIR DOES, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CORRUPTION SINCE KIIR IS THERE

    repondre message

  • 6 August 2014 08:04, by Mr Point

    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article51617

    Anne Itto told us that South Sudan is better now than it was 3 years ago, with the roads schools and hospitals built under Salva Kiir.

    In Juba you can see the quality of the "Itto roads" on which the political elite drive their luxury 4WD automobiles.

    Ministry of Road successfully spent 254.7% of budget by December 2013.

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


s
Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Another electoral farce Sudanese should expect in 2020 2018-06-18 02:08:16 Sudanese Elections Scheduled for 2020 will be Fraught with Dangers andCounterfeiting like its predecessors By Mahmoud A. Suleiman The National Congress Party (NCP) regime’s Elections Scheduled (...)

Salva Kiir’s kingdom of doom 2018-06-16 12:31:50 By Duop Chak Wuol Empires come and go, regardless of whether they are good or bad. One of the chief measures employed by historians is an investigatory examination into the legacies the empires (...)

Darfur remains at crossroads as Bashir takes it protective cover from ICC 2018-06-12 14:19:46 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article comes against the backdrop of the statement attributed to Sudan's ruling regime as saying that it is the “Time for UNAMID to leave Darfur” (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


The Suspension of Hurriyat Online Newspaper 2018-04-29 07:04:37 Sudan Democracy First Group 28 April 2018 The Sudanese civil and political circles and those concerned with Sudan were shocked by the news that the management of Hurriyat online newspaper has (...)

Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan 2018-04-22 10:01:20 UN Secretary-General, New York African Union Commission, Addis Ababa UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva Petition on the Deteriorating Human Rights and Humanitarian Situation in Sudan (...)

Abyei celebrates Mine Awareness Day 2018-04-05 08:52:03 4 April 2018 | Abyei - The United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) commemorated the International Day for Mine Awareness and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.