Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein this month released what analysts described as a consolidatory budget with serious cuts on unnecessary capital expenditure and a special focus on improving sustenance of the State Owned Enterprises.
Stimulating growth in parastatals Key among Schlettwein’s budget announcement is the allocation of subsidies to the State Owned Enterprises at a time most of the parastatals have been constantly accused of failing to be prudent with their finances. Most Parastatals in Namibia survive on bailouts and are in constant quagmire because of lack of correlation between the Board of Directors and the Executive Management. Parastals have also failed to implement corporate Governance policies.
Allocations Schlettwein centered his expenditure plan on improving economic growth and fiscal consolidation. Announcing the national Budget in the National Assembly Schlettwein said the expenditure will be pegged on N$66 billion throughout the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
He also tried to strike a delicate balance between giving the economy space to grow and addressing the inequality gap that has seen the country being rated as one of the most unequal countries in the world creating a huge gap between the haves and the have nots. “We recognize the income inequalities and skewed ownership of sources of income that we have inherited from many years of divisive policies and exclusion prior to the independence of our country still exist. We have made positive progress in addressing these structural challenges. And more still remains to be done. Hence, the budget avails resources to specific interventions to tackle the persistent high inequality through the promotion of wealth creation and shared prosperity,” Schlettwein said.
Schlettwein added that the Government is also consolidating efforts to emancipate locals through the initiation of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (Neef), promulgation of the Public Procurement Act. The Neeef is the Government’s model of incorporating the previously disadvantaged Namibians into the mainstream economy. Social grants “More importantly, Honourable Speaker, “not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”.
More funding therefore does not necessarily guarantee greater success. Policy reforms, innovation, integrity of institutions, internal efficiency and implementation capacity are critical determinants of successful outcomes and accelerated results. This should form the main defining strategy for Offices/ Ministries and Agencies in this new paradigm of executing our sectoral mandates,” he said. Schlettwein’s budget stands a total expenditure N$66 billion including total expenditure on developmental of N$9.06 billion.
TO BE CONTINUED...