February 19, 2012 (SSNA) — JUBA, South Sudan 19th February–In response to revenue losses associated with the shutting down of South Sudan oil production, the Council of Ministers on February 17, approved an initial set of austerity measures aimed at immediately reducing government expenditures. Measures approved by the Council, include:
1. Non-salary spending to be cut by an average of 50%
2. A minimal reduction to block transfers (unconditional monthly grants) to States
The measures will be effective upon signing of the president. The Council of Ministers also mandated that the salaries of all public employees be protected. In the coming weeks and months, the Council will regularly review the country’s priorities in order to meet proposed targets. The cutbacks are effective immediately and will ensure that the necessary funds are available for the continued operation of the government and security forces.
“These are swift and deep cuts, but no layoffs of civil servants, organised forces personal, and SPLA. Everyone’s paycheck is being maintained.” said Hon. Kosti Manibe, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
At the same time, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning is intensifying efforts to increase collection of non-oil revenue through enforcement of the Tax Act, 2009. Through increased compliance with the existing Business Profits Tax, Excise Tax, and Personal Income Tax, the Ministry aims to triple non-oil revenue collection within six months.