South Sudan's parliament suspends budget presentation amid salary row

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-21 01:02:11|Editor: yan
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JUBA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan Parliament on Thursday postponed presentation of the budget for 2019/2020 fiscal year after lawmakers stormed out citing unpaid salaries for the army and civil servants.

Anthony Lino Makana, speaker of Parliament, adjourned the sitting until further notice after listening to the concerns raised by the lawmakers.

"So with this I hereby adjourned the meeting for today (Thursday) until I call for the assembly meeting," Makana told parliamentarians during the session in Juba.

South Sudan's finance minister Salvator Garang Mabiordit was due to table a 208.15 billion South Sudanese pounds (1.3 billion U.S. dollars) budget for 2019/2020 financial year.

However, the lawmakers booed him, saying he could not table the budget when civil servants and army have not been paid for the last six months.

The lawmakers also demanded that the finance minister explain why the country has not met its annual obligation membership to the East African Community including other international treaties.

South Sudan is struggling to increase production of crude oil, months after the signing of the peace deal in September 2018. Currently it pumps about 175,000 barrels per day of crude oil.

The oil-rich nation in January earned 14.2 million dollars in non-oil revenue for the first time under the non-oil revenue mobilization and accountability project supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The country depends heavily on oil revenue to finance its fiscal budget, but oil production was disrupted following outbreak of conflict in December 2013.