Cabinet passes SSP1.8 trillion 2023/24 budget with 400% salary increase

South Sudan council of ministers has on Friday passed a draft budget of 1.8 trillion South Sudanese pounds for fiscal year 2023/2024 with salaries increment by 400%.

Speaking to reporters after cabinet meeting, the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, said the budget focuses on civil servants pay increment, implementation of peace agreement and the community development. The current civil servants pay structure range from 3,000 SSP ($3) to 30,000 SSP ($30).

The budget was presented by the minster of finance and planning, Dier Tong Ngor.

“The budget talks about the increment of salaries by 400 percent and peace budget of 50 billion pounds, and there are a lot of arrears that have accumulated in all the ministries and that is to the sum of 50 billion pounds and also the CDF [Constituency Development Fund] which has been overdue, is given the sum of 47.9 billion,” said Michael Makuei, Minster of Information, Communication, Technology and postal services.

The Constituency development Fund (CDF) program was adopted by the then Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly in 2007 to directly boost local community development projects.

This program has been going though some communities still did not have enough access to health, water and services. However, since the conflict broke out in 2013, this program of rural development has not been allocated budget.

In March this year. President Salva Kiir directed the Ministry of Finance and Planning to pay the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This year budget allocated 47.9 billion pounds for Constituency Development Fund (CDF)

“The budget proposed is 1.8 trillion South Sudanese pounds. This budget was deliberated upon by all the ministries and all the minsters concerned had their inputs and deliberations,” he said.

Makuei underscored that this is the first budget to be presented in time before the end of the financial year.

He said the parliament is expected to deliberate on budget in June and pass it before the end of June so that by the 1st of July, the new budget will be operationalized.

The minister did not tell whether there is deficit in the budget but said the finance minster is tasked to work on the final draft of the budget.

“There are some minsters that had concerns on particular issues and as such, the minster of finance was directed to look into these concerns after which he will put the budget in final form and table it before the transitional national legislature for consideration,” Makuei stated.

The budget allocates 50 billion for all the arrears, however, Makuei did not give the details of how much South Sudan owes the international community and the diplomatic missions.

South Sudan fiscal year start on 1st July to 30th June of the following year but it has been very hard for government to always meet the time frame of the budget.

The current budget 2022/2023 that the country is operating on, was passed by the parliament in September last year nearly three months after the end of fiscal year.