Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says the budget presented by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi balances between the need to enable the country to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the premier, the budget also supports strategic interventions that position the economy on a high and sustainable growth trajectory to return the fiscal position of government to sustainability.
“The budget maintains the priority funding to education and healthcare as critical aspects in our quest for human development. These sectors have continued to take up a significant share of the budget. The budget also increases funding to social protection as the first line of defence against poverty,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said while contributing to the nation’s budget debate in the National Assembly last week.
In spite of a decline in revenue, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, allocations to welfare programmes have increased, both in absolute terms and as a share of public expenditure and GDP. She said Namibia is one of only a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa that provide social grants to the vulnerable.
Thus, she said, allegations that the government has abandoned its traditional welfare policies in favour of neoliberal policies cannot be further from the truth. Further, the premier said the budget sustains the progress in implementing reforms agreed at the land conference to achieve a transformation of the ownership of agricultural land, improve agricultural production and productivity, broaden access to residential land and housing and optimise communities’ beneficiation from environmental resources.
Of the 174 resolutions adopted at the land conference, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said 29 have been completed and 145 are in progress. “The ongoing initiatives include formalisation of informal settlements and broadening access to housing for the low income through implementation of the flexible land tenure system. I had the honour to officiate at the launch of the program at one of the local authorities,” she said.
According to her, the budget allocation for these programmes is supplemented by large investments made through public institutions. “The empowerment efforts pursued through land reform are supplemented by the development of a National Equitable Economic Empowerment Bill which has now been approved by Cabinet and is on course to be tabled in this August House once the ongoing legal drafting is finalised,” said the former finance minister.
She said, this framework, once implemented, will spur greater and sustainable economic growth, employment creation and more equitable distribution of economic benefits and opportunities.
2020-06-09 10:04:09 | 1 months ago