South Sudan President Kiir on Monday approved the national budget despite protests from opposition lawmakers.
The South Sudanese leader signed into law the 2023/2024 Fiscal Year budget presented to him by the Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (RTNLA) speaker, Jemma Nunu Kumba.
The budget signing was preceded by the Appropriation and Financial Bill 2023.
Kumba said the Finance ministry should be supported to enable it provide services to the people.
She said approved budget authorises the Finance minister to embark on fiscal management policies and expedite payment of civil servants, members of the armed forces and the country’s security organs.
“With the appropriation bill signed into law by the president, the minister of finance and planning will now go ahead to expedite all the process and procedures of paying civil servants, the members of the armed forces, and our security organs”, explained Kumba.
The top legislator also revealed that the minister of finance would table a supplementary budget for the increment of salaries of civil servants by 600 percent in the coming months according to the procedures and processes of how a supplementary budget is prepared and presented to the house.
“Supplementary budget has its own rules and regulations which are followed. It is prepared six after the main budget is presented and passed into law by the house before it is assented by his Excellency the President of the Republic. This has been done today”, she stated.
The assembly was last week divided after members of the main opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) and South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) walked out of the house in protest over the decision of the members of the ruling party (SPLM) and their allies to pass the annual budget without adopting a proposal advocating for a 600% pay rise for civil servants, members of the army and the security forces.
The split in the house delayed the passing of the 2.1 trillion budget which the government eventually decided to pass using its mechanical majority. It cited a lack of resources and time. The budget was passed with a 400% rise in salaries and wages for civil servants, the Army, and other organized forces.
As a result of a peace agreement that came into effect in February 2020, a new transitional national assembly with 550 members was nominated in May 2021.