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

NDF defies court order

5 hours ago | Justice

Four days after the Namibian Defence Force was ordered to vacate a Rehoboth shooting range it had illegally occupied in December, the army's locks remain...

Pensioner loses N$400k in scam

5 hours ago | Crime

A 60-year-old woman at Oshakati has lost N$405 000 in an extortion scam staged by fraudsters pretending to be police officers. The incident happened...

Ramaphosa implicated in corruption allegations

5 hours ago | Economics

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Thursday called on South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to cancel all existing government contracts with Bosasa and institute...

Retail industry records negative growth

5 hours ago | Economics

The wholesale and retail trade sector in Namibia has recorded various degrees of negative growth for eight consecutive quarters, a policy analyst at the Namibia...

Not a walk in the...

5 hours ago | People

Elizabeth Joseph Business and economics have always fascinated Danny Meyer, the founder of SMEs Compete.For as long as he can remember, Meyer has always harboured...

New year, new CV

5 hours ago | Columns

In the modern era, the job market is fast and competitive and opportunities come in a blink of an eye. If you are not ready...

Parents angry about Andimba School...

5 hours ago | Education

Some parents are accusing the Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Senior Secondary School at Ondangwa of denying grade 12 learners hostel accommodation. They complained to Namibian...

Vote to secure your destiny

5 hours ago | Columns

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) announced this week it will start conducting supplementary registration for voters in July, ahead of the presidential and National...

Corruption - A social disease

5 hours ago | Columns

How to create reckoning during the Year of Accountability?This article focuses on options to capitalise on the recently proclaimed ‘Year of Accountability’. Given the fact...

Load More