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

Four more rhino horns seized

10 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH Undercover police operations last week led to the arrest of two Namibians near Outapi and two Chinese nationals...

Skorpion lays off 278 workers

10 hours ago | Business

STAFF REPORTERThe Skorpion Zinc mine will retrench 278 employees as part of its restructuring process.Its general manager, Irvin Simataa made the announcement.This is the second...

Accidents claim 3 young lives

10 hours ago | Crime

JANA-MARI SMITH An 11-year-old boy died of a gunshot while playing with friends over the weekend and two babies drowned...

Hospital's 'shocking' cat removal tender

10 hours ago | Crime

A tender invited by the Ministry of Health and Social Services for the removal of cats at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital has been described as...

Caterpillars wreak havoc

10 hours ago | Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has confirmed an outbreak of caterpillars causing havoc to fields in north-central and north-eastern Namibia. The ministry's...

Newborn baby left under tree...

10 hours ago | Crime

The police are investigating a case of child abandonment and neglect at Arandis, the rape of a child at Karibib and a murder case at...

Refugees seek audience with UN

10 hours ago | Politics

The group Namibia Refugees Repatriated is seeking an audience the United Nations, according to its spokesperson, Ueshitile Shekupe. “We are seeking a round-table dialogue....

Opposition parties slam Land Bill

10 hours ago | Politics

The United People's Movement (UPM) and the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) have expressed dissatisfaction with the government's resettlement programme ahead of the second land...

Ministry to build more hospitals

10 hours ago | Health

The minister of health and social services, Bernard Haufiku, says his ministry will focus on building health facilities this year. Addressing journalists on Friday,...

Load More