Budget Tabling After 21 March

THIS year’s budget will only be tabled in parliament after 21 March, Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in an interview yesterday.

“The budget will be tabled after the new President has sworn in the new cabinet on 21 March,” she said.

The country will have its third President since independence when Prime Minister Hage Geingob takes over as President from outgoing President, Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said like other budgets in the past, the new cabinet will then discuss the budget and could make ‘necessary’ changes and adjustments before it is tabled in parliament.

When asked the theme of this year’s budget, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said this will be determined at a later stage.

The long serving minister, who has been in the position since 2003, said she does not know whether she will retain her portfolio.

“Nobody knows. I have to work until 20 March and other ministers are doing the same,” she said.

On the change of president and cabinet affecting the budget preparation, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted that the process went smoothly when Pohamba assumed office 10 years ago and expects the same thing to happen this year.

The total size of the budget for the 20142015 financial year was N$60,2 billion, representing an estimated 26,4% increase over 201314.

Of this, 84,1% was allocated to operational spending with the remaining 15,9% dedicated to development spending.

Government revenue was estimated to be N$52,5 billion in the 2014,15 financial year, which is an estimated 30,7% increase over 20132014.

With planned expenditure exceeding projected revenue, the government was anticipating a budget deficit in 20142015 of N$7,7 billion or 5,5% of GDP, compared to an estimated budget deficit of N$7,4 billion or 6,4% of GDP in the 2013,14 financial year.

Source : The Namibian