August 25, 2016 (JUBA) - The South Sudanese cabinet has proposed nearly SSP 30 million for financial year 2016/2017, two months after the end of the fiscal year.
- A man from South Sudan displays new currency notes outside the Central Bank of South Sudan in Juba on 18 July 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
In an extraordinary meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir on Wednesday, the cabinet directed the ministry of finance to consult other ministries before presenting the budget proposal to the council and later Parliament.
"The proposed financial year 2016/2017 is 29,655,000,000 [twenty nine billion six hundred and fifty five million] South Sudanese pounds," the country’s information minister Michael Makuei Lueth told reporters after the meeting in Juba on Wednesday.
Makuei said the cabinet accepted the proposed budget in "principle." There is an increased of nearly SSP 20 Billion compared to last year budget but some economists said the value is lower when inflation rate of 600% is factored and compared against the United States dollars.
South Sudan’s local currency, the pound, has fallen sharply since the government allowed floating of exchange rate in December, pushing price to increase several times.
Information Minister Makuei said the increase in the budget is meant to cover peace implementation and expanded transitional government of national unity.
"That is, there is an increase of 19,310,547,663 SSP [compared to last year’s budget]. This increase is estimated to be 187 percent. Of course, as a result of so many factors including the implementation of the agreement,” he said.
He said the minister of finance has been asked to invite other ministries and technocrats to study the budget and return to the cabinet "soon."
South Sudan financial year usually begins on 1 July and therefore for a new budget to be implemented, parliament must approve it after deliberations for at least 30 days.