South Sudan's economy is slowly improving mainly due to the peace deal holding with no major ceasefire violations reported, a senior government official said on Friday.

Salvatore Garang Mabiordit, the minister of finance told lawmakers in Juba that they are hoping to ride on the prevailing peace ushered in by the signing of the peace deal in September 2018 to boost economic growth.

"Since the signing of the peace agreement at least there is improvement, there has never been major violations of the ceasefire and we are hopeful that the economy is improving and by next year's budget I think we are going to address the issue of capital (development)," Garang told journalists in Juba.

He said the government has not been able to clear outstanding salaries of civil servants in time since conflict broke out in December 2013, shutting down oil production which contributes almost 95 percent of annual revenue to finance the budget.

South Sudanese lawmakers on Wednesday passed the 2019/20 fiscal budget estimated at 208.16 billion pounds (1.6 billion US dollars) after previously postponing it over failure to pay outstanding salaries of civil servants.

"I think the capital injection should start by next year if we continue with this sustainability of the peace," said Garang.

He disclosed that they will resume timely payment of salaries in May 2020 after clearing all outstanding domestic payments and also debts owed to foreign missions abroad.

President Salva Kiir recently reinstated some missions which were to be closed due to failure to meet operation and rent costs.

South Sudan earned 38.6 billion dollars from oil in the financial year 2019/20 and 36 million dollars in non-oil revenue.

South Sudan pays annually about 562.1 million dollars to Sudan under the 2012 Transitional Financial Arrangement which will end by next year and the government will be able to save about 400 million dollars.

The country depends heavily on oil revenue to finance its fiscal budget, but oil production had been disrupted since the outbreak of conflict in December 2013.

According to an overview by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), South Sudan's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 8.1 percent in 2019/20 and 6.6 percent in 2020/2021 from 3.4 percent in 2018/19.

Source http://www.bing.com/news/apiclick.aspx?ref=FexRss&aid=&tid=61587D2055FB418EB9EF757CF0538036&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.globaltimes.cn%2Fcontent%2F1162507.shtml&c=18315289601127684945&mkt=en-ca

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