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

Robber assaults sleeping baby

18 hours ago | Crime

JESSICA BOTES A Swakopmund mother of twin babies is the latest victim of a string of violent burglaries in Swakopmund.At approximately 03:50 on Wednesday, a...

Rosh Pinah Zinc workers want...

18 hours ago | Labour

Workers at the Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine have given management four working days to remove its employee relations specialist, Angeline Barnard-Hagen, or face “unforeseen action”.In...

Land activists say they won't...

18 hours ago | Politics

The Landless People's Movement has indicated its intention to approach the ombudsman to compel the land reform ministry to release its version of the resettlement...

Union wants non-compliant retailers to...

18 hours ago | Labour

The Namibia Wholesale and Retail Workers Union (NWRWU) has demanded that the minister of labour call retailers that exploit workers to order. The union claims...

Hoff guilty of attempted murder...

18 hours ago | Crime

Susanne Hoff (56) was found guilty of the attempted murder of her estranged husband, Egbert Hoff, by the Windhoek Regional Court yesterday.Hoff, who pleaded not...

Ondonga backs Nangolo to succeed...

18 hours ago | Cultural

The Ondonga Traditional Authority on Tuesday affirmed that Fillemon Shuumbwa Nangolo is the Ondonga king-in-waiting.The OTA said in a statement that King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas...

Dineo storms onto bucket list

18 hours ago | Disasters

When you plan a sunny Mozambican holiday in February, the last thing you expect is to be caught up in a cyclone. (Well, maybe we...

The 2017 Budget should demonstrate...

18 hours ago | Opinion

BY MALLY LIKUKELA As preparations for the 2017 National Budget gather momentum and a greater participation by various stakeholders becomes evident. The budget is...

I am a foolishly wise...

18 hours ago | Opinion

I have always been fascinated by the manner in which the Police in United States of America, in cities like New York, Los Angeles or...

Load More