Govt frees up N.dollars 1.18 billion from National Budget

Government has freed up a total of N.dollars of N.dollars 1.18 billion from the National Budget which was reallocated to several ministries experiencing urgent funding needs.

Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein announced this in the National Assembly when he tabled the Mid-Year Budget Review on Tuesday.

Of which N.dollars 176.32 million from the operational budget and N.dollars 999.59 million development budget was freed up through expenditure cuts during the mid-year budget review process.

The internal saving from the operational budget were realised from wage bill management and vacancy freeze measurements, while resources from the development budget emanated from the slow implementation of or yet to be implemented capital projects.

Schlettwein indicated that the N.dollars 1.18 billion would be re-allocated to funding needs and priorities as follows:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry received N.dollars 96.65 million for personnel expenditure, utilities and dry-land crop production.

An amount of N.dollars 67.33 million was allocated to the Drought Relief Programme under the Office of the Prime Minister, while the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) programme under the Gender and Child Welfare Ministry will receive N.dollars 88 million.

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for the recruitment of teachers, text books and school feeding programme, and the Ministry of Health and Social Services for pharmaceuticals and clinical supplies receive an amount of N.dollars 184.1 million and N.dollars 210.72 million respectively.

The Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare and Ministry of Home Affairs ministries received N.dollars 88.02 and N.dollars 36 million respectively. These amounts will be used for Social Grants and Visa Stickers project.

'The proposed reallocation is to meet essential needs for the smooth conduct of elections with further budgetary support to the Electoral Commission of Namibia and the Ministry of Safety and Security, needs in the Basic Education Sector, Health and Social Services in respect of procurement of pharmaceuticals, supporting funding needs of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, Drought Relief and Social Grants needs,' Schlettwein said.

Current and medium-term economic growth are still projected to be positive, thereby establishing a coherent firm basis for the re-calibration of fiscal policy, the minister said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency