Government support business sector

17 September 2020 | Economics

Government has paid out N$ 3.8 billion for outstanding invoices and value-added tax in support of the business sector including small and medium enterprises (SMEs) between May and June 2020, finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi said.

Speaking during the national Covid-19 update, Shiimi said the payments will help in cash flow of the business sector including the SMEs, as the State engaged commercial banks and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) to assist SMEs.

“You may have heard that banks have provided some repayment holiday for businesses including SMEs. We have also worked with the Development Bank of Namibia to secure funding. They went out in the field and secured funding of about N$ 500 million. This will go to the problem of supporting SMEs, so those SMEs that are already clients of DBN and those who want to borrow will be supported as part of the supporting of the SMEs,” he said.

Shiimi said the programmes that were aimed at supporting employees during Covid-19 are managed by the government and administered by the Social Security Commission of Namibia, and to date, people that benefited from the programme are about 10 400.

“The part that is supporting the businesses is the part that started very slow. We encourage the Social Security Commission to speed up the pace, but between Thursday and Friday about N$ 4.5 million has been paid to companies,” he said.

Shiimi added that the commission was advised to prioritise paying out to companies severely affected by Covid-19 and the economic slowdown, these are from the tourism, aviation and constructions sectors. - Nampa

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