Nam’s financial independence in the balance

28 October 2016 | Economic Issues

Extensive budget cuts announced by Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein may have its risks, but are vital if the country is to maintain its economic independence.
This was the message shared by the Minister this morning at a post-announcement breakfast following his second annual mid-year budget review in Parliament.
“Retaining our fiscal sovereignty is absolutely paramount. If we don’t take these actions now, someone else will do it for us, down the line,” Schlettwein said.
Analysts, while mostly in agreement that the steps were necessary, have expressed fears that the Ministry’s cutting of some N$5.5 billion from this year’s national budget could effectively slip the country into recession solely based on the substantial role government plays in the local economy, at around one third of total activity.
“That (fear) was extensively discussed in deciding how far to go,” Schlettwein told members of the business community at the Hilton Hotel in Windhoek.
“Our feeling is that, in the current situation we can take that risk. We have a new (uranium)mine (Husab) that is expected to soon come into play, we just recently saw a new gold mine going into production, and our tourism sector has been doing well,” Schlettwein said.
Current drought conditions across the country, he said, while drawn out over the last three years, were considered of passing nature regardless.
Expanding on his announcement of more emphasis to be placed on public private partnerships (PPP), Schlettwein said such agreements could both help free up capital expenditure from the State’s side, while providing good investment opportunities for the private sector.
The minister also hinted at possible tax changes, noting that while aggressive taxation would not be the way to go, there was still room to broaden the country’s tax base.
In that sense, he said double taxation agreements with trading partner countries, and a Capital Gains tax (more extensive than current transfer duties), could be expected.
The budget review event was a joint collaboration between PWC, Standard Bank Namibia and Namibia Media Holdings (NMH).

DENVER ISAACS

Similar News

 

Latest News

SAA aims for the sky...

12 hours ago | Economics

JOHANNESBURG - South African Airways (SAA) aims to resume flights in July or August, but the restart date will depend on how the COVID-19 pandemic...

Price monster guzzles fuel

12 hours ago | Economics

The international oil market is a very volatile environment, and oil prices can swing in any direction at any given moment. – Andreas Simon, Senior...

Baby dies while mom’s out...

12 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKA three-month-old baby girl died on Friday evening in Epako while her mother was out drinking.According to the...

Solar minibuses for Africa

12 hours ago | Economics

MEGAN ROWLINGAs emissions from African transport surge, governments need to find ways to encourage a shift to cleaner, healthier electric vehicles, especially among the minibus...

Ivory Coast, Ghana push cocoa...

12 hours ago | Business

ANGE ABOAIvory Coast and Ghana asked cocoa and chocolate companies last week to pay more in premiums to support farmers' wages, the head of Ivory...

EDITORIAL

12 hours ago | Opinion

It has been estimated that more than 40% of Namibia’s population live in shacks, their daily lives in jarring contrast to those living close by...

16 survive accident on Otji-Kalkfeld...

12 hours ago | Accidents

NAMPA Sixteen people survived an accident after the Quantum minibus they were travelling in overturned...

Safaricom expects return to earnings...

12 hours ago | Business

DUNCAN MIRIRISafaricom, Kenya's biggest telecoms operator, expects core earnings to return to growth this year after the coronavirus crisis hit revenue from financial services and...

SARB to keep rates at...

12 hours ago | Economics

VUYANI NDABASouth Africa's Reserve Bank (SARB) will keep its repo rate unchanged as inflation remains within the bank's comfort range despite showing signs of quickening...

Load More