Government to prioritise stimulus measures

The Minister of Finance Carl Schlettwein says Namibia needs to mobilise the appropriate implementation capacity and fiscal discipline to ensure that scarce resources are accounted for and put to optimal use and impact.

He was speaking in the National Assembly where he tabled the Midyear budget review for the 2019/20 Financial Year.

The minister said the government needs to enhance certain measures in the next Mid Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and these include implementation of a better coordinated and integrated economic recovery and growth stimulus measures, grounded on reviving short-term economic recovery and improving long-term growth potential.

Government will also fast-track the implementation of the N.dollars four billion African Development Bank (AFDB) funded projects for agricultural mechanisation, logistics infrastructure and school renovation programme and further topping this up with an additional N.dollars 2.5 billion water infrastructure project financing, he said.

Schlettwein added that they will also accelerate the turnaround time for public procurement project adjudication and award, particularly for high-value projects across economic sectors, specifically the roll-out of energy investment projects by Nampower.

He said other interventions will see the government provide the enabling policy framework for the accelerated implementation of the N.dollars 20 billion private sector investment commitments made at the 2019 Economic Growth Summit and supporting private sector development through targeted capitalization of the Development Finance institutions and special entrepreneurship and industrial upgrading programmes.

We will also launch the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Financing Strategy at DBN, starting with the Credit Guarantee Scheme, Mentorship and Training Program and the skills-based Lending Facility for youth entrepreneurs, he added.

The minister added that they will protect allocations to the development budget to enhance the growth friendliness of fiscal policy and long-term growth potential of the economy, and support an effective revenue mobilization strategy, encompassing tax administration reforms and increasing digitalization of the tax system.

Schlettwein added that the speedy implementation of structural policy reforms to bolster the competitiveness and business confidence consistent with the commitments and collaboration made at the 2019 Economic and Growth Summit.

Other interventions include will see the protection of budgetary allocations to social sectors of education and health, provision of affordable and quality housing, land acquisition and improving the efficiency of administration of safety nets.

We will implement effective wage bill reforms and reducing the proportion of the wage bill through growth, the creation of jobs elsewhere in the economy and the consolidation of some public services and mobilize alternative means of financing the fiscal adjustment and socio-economic development agenda through Public-Private Partnerships and partial listing and divestiture of public assets, he added.

This he said, was made possible by the consistent fiscal indicators as per initial budget, which shows that the Gross Domestic Product was 4.0%better than budget as per the Preliminary National Accounts.

Source: Namibia Press Agency