Minister of Industrialisation Trade and SME Development today said budget cuts in the financial year left his ministry unable to carry out its most critical functions

Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya today said budget cuts in the 2019/20 financial year left his ministry unable to carry out its most critical functions.

He said the ministry's budget cuts were the highest of all ministries at 43 per cent, which contributed to the ministry suffering serious reputation damage when it was unable to support SMEs to create employment.

Funds earmarked for SME programmes were redirected from our ministry to other ministries and institutions for them to manage their operations, the entire SME funding was taken away. We watched them closing shops and we couldn't do anything to help them survive, said Tweya.

Tweya further said Namibia had a trade deficit of N.dollars 5.6 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

This is mainly because we are not yet an industrialised nation; imports have always been more than exports since independence, but there has been an improvement in the first quarter of 2019, the minister said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency