5 October 2012

South Sudan Parliament Asks Government to Review Salary Cut

Photo: UNEP
Oil well: The salary cut forms part of the austerity measures introduced by the government after it lost oil revenues in the wake of the oil shut down in February.

Juba — South Sudan's parliament on Friday summoned the minister of finance and economic planning, Kosti Manibe, his deputy Marial Awuou and the minister in the Office of the President, Emmanuel Lowilla, over the salary cut which was part of the austerity measures introduced by the government after it lost oil revenues in the wake of the oil shut down in February this year.

The Business Committee of the parliament sought explanation from the ministers over what was said to be "wrong" implementation of the housing allowances cuts which did not tally with the resolution passed by the parliament in August.

A number of allowances have been cut from the overall salary of civil servants, army and police as well as constitutional post holders, amounting to about 50% of the overall salary.

A senior official in the parliament who asked to remain anonymous told the Sudan Tribune on Saturday that the executive was asked by the Business Committee to correct the implementation of the cuts.

He said while 50 per cent of the housing allowances should be cut in accordance with the resolution, there are some other categories of allowances and low income employees who should have been exempted from the cuts.

He also added that some institutions and personnel such as nurses who are not supposed to be affected by the cuts.

The cuts have had negative impact on the affected institutions with some personnel's reactions ranging from peaceful protests to shooting and beating of police and wildlife commanders in Lakes state, for instance.

Elements in the police and wildlife forces in Rumbek accused their commanders of cutting their salaries.

The salary cuts targeted 50% of the housing allowances which is part of the salary while house rent in South Sudan is very high.

The official said the executive was asked to review the implementation of the cuts with the aim to exempting some of the institutions and categories of allowances as the government transits to full salary as the oil production is expected to resume soon.

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