South Sudan to Increase Non-oil revenue Earnings by December - Finance Minister

Category: Sudan
Published on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 12:32
Written by Mading Ngor Akec Kuai
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Sept. 10 (Juba NSV) -- South Sudan aims to increase its monthly revenue collection by 43 per cent by December from 70 million South Sudanese Pounds a month (about $24m) to 100 million South Sudanese Pounds ($34m) as the country develops better means of collecting revenue, Finance Minister Aggrey Tisa Sabuni said.

South Sudan, which relies on oil to generate 98 per cent of its foreign-currency earnings, hopes to raise 25 per cent of its GDP from tax and customs fees within three years, Sabuni said in an interview in the capital, Juba, on Sept. 7.  “We should be able to collect up to 100 million (SSP) a month by the end of the current calendar year, by December and that will from there move on to increase as much as possible,” he said.

Two years after it gained independence from Sudan, South Sudan is seeking to develop an economy shattered by five decades of civil war. The country’s gross domestic product more than halved last year to $9.34 billion, according to World Bank data, after the government halted oil production in a dispute with Sudan over export fees.

South Sudan has sub-SaharanAfrica’s third-biggest oil reserves, after Nigeria andAngola, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The country’s crude is pumped mainly by China National Petroleum Corp.,Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. and India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd.

South Sudan earned $969 million in oil sales since oil production resumed in April, the Petroleum Ministry said in a statement last week. South Sudan also paid Sudan $238 million in oil transportation fees, including a fee to revive Sudan’s economy after sudden loss of southern oil.    

The East African nation plans to create a National Revenue Authority to improve tax collection, the finance ministry said in July. A bill to establish the body is yet to be passed by the national parliament. South Sudan used to collect 35 million South Sudanese Pounds a month in non-oil revenue prior to the oil halt in January 2012, Sabuni said.

Non-oil revenue earnings will be raised from the current 2 per cent “to go to 25 per cent in three years and then beyond that, and maybe 5 to 7 years, it should go up to 50 per cent,” he said.