As the finance ministry prepares to table the 2013-2014 budget this week before the national assembly, so is the debate brewing over how to best divide up the country’s national cake. At the centre of the debate is Hon. Michael Chot Lul who says this year’s budget must be ‘different.’
“I wish that budget should be distributed equitably, based on the population,” Lul told The New Sudan Vision Monday, at the lobby of the national legislature in the capital, Juba. “The place which is well populated should be given a lion’s share and should not be compared with a small state,” he said.
As MP representing Uror County Constituency #5 in Jonglei, Lul sees a gross level of underdevelopment in his constituency and a huge disparity in the country’s wealth distribution, he said. “For example in the distributing of the seeds in the states, all the states are given equal number. It’s not fair because there are states which have bigger populations,” he said.
Chot also argued that in addition to sharing the wealth proportionate to the population, the government should also introduce preferential treatment for war-ravaged areas. “There are some areas which were affected more than other areas especially during the war,” he said. “Some other areas were [deeply] affected, so there should be at least different considerations.”
For the next budget, said the lawmaker, “In distributing the budget this time, roads, especially in Jonglei should be considered and it should be given a better share rather than always giving us something that cannot do anything.” He said the states needed better health facilities, clean water and schools.