Overdue invoices as at 31 March fully paid: Shiimi

Minister of Finance, Ipumbu Shiimi has announced that the entire amount of overdue unpaid invoices for suppliers of goods and services to the government as at 31 March 2020 valued at N.dollars 1.2 billion has been paid fully.

Shiimi announced this on Wednesday while sharing the progress made in regard of the economic stimulus and relief package which was launched last month on the directives of President Hage Geingob, on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister announced the progress while tabling the 2020/21 financial year budget in the National Assembly adding that N.dollar 1.8 billion out of

N.dollars 3 billion of value added tax (VAT) refunds of the same period are also settled.

He went on to say, the Ministry of Health and Social Services is making progress in executing the emergency budget of N.dollars 727 million which was frontloaded to the health sector to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Continuing, the minister, acclaimed the distribution of the N.dollars 750 emergency income grant which was target to the low income group. A total of

747 281 Namibians have benefited so far at a cost of N.dollars 561.9 million while 120 000 people are expected to benefit after completion of the verification process.

“This money was paid off in a very short period of time at zero cost of distribution by the government. Despite the challenges that have been encountered, Namibia has set a good example for the world,” he added.

The National Employment and Salary Protection Scheme was launched on 10 April in collaboration the Social Security Commission at a cost of

N.dollars 645 million,” the minister noted.

He added saying, the government contributed N.dollars 400 million to the programme while N.dollars 245 will be provided by the Social Security, he went on to say, over 1 372 applications from employers to access the benefits have been made to date.

Additionally, he noted that, non-agricultural mall and medium enterprise (SME) loan schemes at the Development Bank of Namibia for which

N.dollars 500 million government guarantee is provided.

“Agricultural business loan scheme and bridging finance for AgriBank for which N.dollars 350 million government guarantee is provided. The stimulus and relief programme by AgriBank will start on 01 June 2020,” said Shiimi.

He further added that, a one-year tax- back loan scheme capped at N.dollars 470 million for non-mining corporates and a similar scheme for individuals capped at N.dollars 1.1 billion.

“Implementation modalities for the tax-back loan back schemes are arranged with the commercial banks and government guarantees will be extended on a case by case basis,” he said.

Shiimi also said an emergency budget of N.dollars 600 million has been availed to the Ministry of Education Arts and Culture for the provision of water, ablution facilities and hostels at about 193 schools countyrwide.

The Economic Stimulus and Relief Package includes 10 action points which are already in the implementation phase.

Source: Namibia Press Agency