Landless People’s Movement Member of Parliament Edson Isaack has said budget re-allocations are clear testimony that government does not want to deal with the structural challenges it faced or build a strong economy by investing in high growth industri…
Landless People’s Movement Member of Parliament Edson Isaack has said budget re-allocations are clear testimony that government does not want to deal with the structural challenges it faced or build a strong economy by investing in high growth industries.
Isaack made the remarks in the National Assembly on Thursday while contributing to the debate on the mid-term budget reallocations.
He said the first evidence of this is the reduction in the development budget and increase in the operational budget when Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi announced the reallocation two weeks ago, because the country cannot reset the growth trajectory if the development budget keeps shrinking and the operational budget expands.
'I am even more worried that the minister took a decision to end projects that have not started yet. I hope these are not projects that are geared towards supporting the long-term growth trajectory of the country. Investments in infrastructure are known to be critical to resetting the growth trajectory of any country. A case in point is the United States that recently passed an infrastructure bill renewing their infrastructure to be better prepared in this competitive world,' said Isaack.
He added that this year's growth is mainly due to base effects and shows that Namibia's fiscal policy is not based on a sound plan with a long-term vision, saying the country needs to reinvest in agriculture, and state intervention must be underpinned by a broad strategy geared at achieving sustainable livelihoods.
'I want to re-emphasise that in Namibia the livelihoods of a large part of the population depend on agriculture. Moreover, about 23 per cent of jobs come from the sector, while its Gross Domestic Product contribution is 6.6 per cent. The contribution of the sector is further expanded if we include its links to the manufacturing sector. The above is evidence of the significant contribution, both directly and indirectly, of the agriculture sector in Namibia,' stated Isaack.
He further added that the choice remains with the government whether to continue to invest in sectors that can double agriculture production or remain on the same trajectory of low growth, low unemployment, higher deficits and debts.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency