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South Sudan scales down supplementary budget as oil prices fall.

By James Gatdet Dak September 26, 2008 (JUBA) a" The Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has resolved to scale down its supplementary budget it passed earlier in August due to fall in global oil prices, resulting to decrease in oil revenues flowing from the Khartoum-based Government of National Unity (GoNU). In August thirty-one GoSS' institutions, after exhausting their respective 2008 budgets in mid-year, presented requests for supplementary budgets to cover their respective activities for the remaining 2008 fiscal year. GoSS depends solely on its share of 50% oil revenues generated in Southern Sudan by the GoNU, in accordance with the provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between North and South that created the semi-autonomous government. According to GoSS Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kuol Athian Mawien, the global oil prices dropped from $130 dollars per a barrel in August - the time the supplementary budget was passed - to $90 dollars per a barrel in September, forcing him to revise the financing projections for the supplementary budget. The resolution that was passed on Friday in the Council of Ministers meeting chaired by the GoSS President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, called for reduction of the previously approved supplementary budget from 5.473 billion to 2.045 billion Sudanese pounds (over $2.5bln - $1bln). Athian explained that the approval of previous 5.473 billion Sudanese pounds supplementary budget was based on the assumption that the oil prices would be maintained at least for the next three months. He said despite the fact that GoSS had started receiving 45 million Sudanese pounds (SDG) every month from its Abyei share of oil revenues since June after the signing of the Abyei Roadmap agreement, the amount was not sufficient to increase the supplementary budget or compensate for the fall in global oil prices. Athian said GoNU still owes GoSS 228mln SDG of oil revenues arrears incurred between January and July this year. He however pointed out that despite the reduction in the supplementary budget, GoSS would continue to honour ongoing contractual commitments against which it has already made payments, the availability of existing balances on ministries' budgets as well as the importance of maintaining the supplementary allocations to the army. The three years old GoSS has huge responsibility of rebuilding the war-ravaged region with proposed development projects that run into billions of dollars in various sectors of development. It also embarks on introducing and developing other sources of non-oil revenues to improve its budget, which averages $1.4 billion dollars a year. The next GoSS fiscal year budget for 2009 will start in January, three months from now. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Sep 30, 2008
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