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Posts by Maihapa Ndjavera:
Local economists expect finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi to focus on the mitigation of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated social protections when he tables the 2020 mid-term budget in parliament today. It is imperative for Namibia to ratify the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Mozambique and United Kingdom (UK) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as soon as possible to ensure the country continues to benefit from duty free and quota free trade with the UK after December 2020. The Namibian private sector, specifically small medium enterprises (SME), is eligible to receive targeted support to cushion the economic impact on business losses by pitching for recovery grant scheme through the German development agency, GIZ. Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi yesterday tabled the mid-term budget for the 2020/21 financial year, consisting of N$841.6 million, with no new allocations being made but rather reallocation to priority areas. Namibia’s stock of international reserves held by the Bank of Namibia (BoN) decreased both on an annual and quarterly basis at the end of the second quarter of 2020. The nominal value of the building plans completed during August 2020 increased substantially to N$450.2 million compared to N$369 million recorded in July 2020. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Namibia has decided to keep the Repo Rate unchanged at 3.75%. The current global economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and climate variability has negatively impacted economies around the world, and Namibia is no exception. Credit relief extended to bank clients amounted to 8.9% of total industry loans and advances. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Namibian households and overall affected both households and individuals in multiple ways. The Covid-19 pandemic has put an end to the ‘business-as-usual’ notion hence the increase in the need for innovation. Most businesses in Namibia are facing two main challenges during this uncertain time of Covid-19. An Epukiro councillor, Vejama Kanguatjivi, said he was aggrieved by a massive project, worth about N$66 million, which was awarded to Chinese contractors. Revenue generated by the Electricity Control Board (ECB) during 2019/20 financial year amounted to N$93.7 million, representing an increase of 4.8% from the N$89.4 million recorded in the previous financial year. The Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation, Utoni Nujoma, has urged for increased focus on the implementation of international labour standards and good practices in Namibia. Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Peter Vilho last week stated that the Veteran’s Housing Programme is on hold until 2022/2023 due to a lack of funds to continue with housing delivery. Some opposition parliamentarians are not impressed by the mid-year budget review for the 2020/21 financial year, which was tabled last week by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi. Almost N$4.4 million was paid out to communal conservancies and farmers in communal areas during 2019 through the Human-Wildlife Conflict Self-Reliance Scheme for livestock losses, crop damages and loss of human life or injury to humans. Presenters at the Africa Diamond Conference webinar last week assured industry players that synthetic diamonds will continue to grow exponentially, especially in terms of the volume but not so much in terms of value. Minister of Finance Iipumbu Shiimi last week said to revive the domestic economy, the country’s public finances should be stable.