Upbeat Calle preaches recovery

23 October 2019 | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says the domestic economy is projected to gradually emerge from the recession in 2020 with a moderate growth rate of about 0.8% and about 1.3% by 2021, averaging 2% over the next Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

He has also announced realigned spending amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and an SME financing strategy, while so-called 'tax holidays' are in the firing line. While delivering his midterm budget review in the National Assembly yesterday, Schlettwein said on the demand side: “We expect a moderate recovery in domestic consumption demand and other elements of final demand, as some of the planned public and private sector investment come on line and the rebound of exports from mining activity. “On the supply side, the recovery will be similarly anchored by moderate positive growth in all main economic sectors. “The projected recovery in the primary industry sector is expected to perform better in the mining and agricultural sectors, as temporary factors in the diamond subsector and rain prospects improve.” Schlettwein also anticipates growth in secondary industries.“Tertiary industries are projected to post-moderate recovery as domestic demand gathers pace with positive effects on the wholesale and retail trade and real estate subsectors,” the finance minister said.

Schlettwein said the domestic economy has been adjusting to shocks and recalibrating to a more sustainable growth pattern.

In 2019 the economy is estimated to contract by about 1.5% relative to the growth rate of 0.2% estimated in the budget.

This marks a third consecutive year of recession.

Realigned spending

An amount of N$96.65 million was allocated to the ministry of agriculture for personnel expenditure, utilities and dryland crop production. Government's drought-relief efforts were strengthened with an allocation of N$67.3 million.

A total of N$88 million was allocated to the orphans and vulnerable children programme under the child welfare ministry to cater for expanded coverage, while N$36 million was allocated to the ministry of home affairs for the Visa Stickers project.

A total of N$184.1 million was allocated to the ministry of education for the recruitment of teachers, the purchase of textbooks and for the ministry's school feeding programme.

Health received N$210.72 million for pharmaceuticals and clinical suppliers, as well as the recruitment of health professionals.

A total of N$88 million was allocated to the ministry of poverty eradication for social grants.


Schlettwein announced that the launch of the Namibia Revenue Agency (Namra) had been shifted to March 2020 to allow for the finalisation of the transitional processes and staff recruitment.

Amendments to the Income Tax Act, Value-Added Tax Act and Export Levy Act were also being mooted according to Schlettwein. These, according to him, would entail the taxation of trusts and certain commercial entities, eliminating base-eroding tax holidays and preferential tax rates accorded only to some manufacturers and exporters of manufactured goods, for a more uniform treatment of taxpayers through the establishment of the Special Economic Zones.

While not cast in stone, the government was also studying the possibility of introducing a profit tax on betting and gaming entities of 37%.

Schlettwein also outlined intent to investigate the possibility of introducing a lower tax regime for small businesses, as a means of encouraging entrepreneurship and business growth.

Inducing growth

To induce growth, Schlettwein said plans were in place to accelerate the turnaround time for public procurement adjudication and awards, particularly for high-value projects across economic sectors, specifically the roll-out of energy investment projects by NamPower.

Government was also putting work into launching an SME financing strategy that would be housed at the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), starting with a credit guarantee scheme, mentorship and training programme and a skills-based lending facility for youth entrepreneurs, Schlettwein added. STAFF REPORTER

Similar News


Inflation slows down further

2 hours ago | Economics

Annual overall inflation in Namibia last month was 3.0%, down from 3.3% in September and 5.1% a year ago.Data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency...

Informal sector taxes off the table

3 days ago - 11 November 2019 | Economics

The ministry of finance has struck any plans to introduce a presumptive tax on the informal sector of the economy off the table and said...

Lifestyle audits kick off

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Economics

OGONE TLHAGE The ministry of finance is gunning after suspected tax defaulters by means of lifestyle audits.Tax commissioner Justus Mwafongwe told Namibian...

New cocoa deals help peasant farmers, but not enough

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Economics

David Esnault - The willingness of some multinational firms to pay a cost-of-living bonus for African cocoa planters is welcome but will not save many...

Debt relief a double-edged sword for S. Africans

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Economics

Emma Rumney - Solani Rivele, a single mother of four, earns about R800 a week but owes 100 times that amount in loans. Millions of...

Nigeria puts squeeze on oil majors

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Economics

Libby George - The Nigerian government has amended a bill that would render billions in planned offshore oil investments unprofitable and cut nearly 30% from...

N$2.5m salaries bailout for Agribusdev

1 week ago - 01 November 2019 | Economics

The agriculture ministry will seek treasury approval in order to divert N$2.5 million that will be used to pay Agribusdev staff, who are yet to...

N$54m lifeline for ailing NBC

2 weeks ago - 25 October 2019 | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has emptied state coffers to the tune of N$54 million to bail out the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC). While Schlettwein...

A legacy in doubt

3 weeks ago - 23 October 2019 | Economics

Jo-Mare Duddy - With elections on the horizon, president Hage Geingob and his cabinet must decide what their legacy is going to be: will they...

Upbeat Calle preaches recovery

3 weeks ago - 23 October 2019 | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says the domestic economy is projected to gradually emerge from the recession in 2020 with a moderate growth rate of about...

Latest News

A fish rots from the...

14 hours ago | Columns

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” Mark Twain once said.In the end, truth will...

Namcor ready to run fuel...

14 hours ago | Business

The Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) expects to take delivery of the strategic fuel storage facility next month, a company official has told Namibian Sun....

How the 'sharks' were netted

14 hours ago | Fishing

An international scandal has erupted with an exposé of more than 30 000 documents released by WikiLeaks which show that an Icelandic fishing company, SAMHERJI,...

NSFAF explains payment woes

14 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

14 hours ago | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Devil's claw under threat

14 hours ago | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

More dark days ahead

14 hours ago | Sports

The Fifa normalisation committee says it still has to consult its lawyers before making a decision on the way forward for the Namibia Premier League...

Mining tourney hailed as a...

14 hours ago | Sports

A three-day tournament that featured different mining employees from across the country, which took place at Otjiwarongo from Friday to Sunday, has been described as...

They have to go, says...

1 day - 13 November 2019 | Crime

Staff ReporterHighly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from...

Load More