Christian Democratic Voice (CDV) leader Gotthard Kandume in his maiden speech in the National Assembly expressed concern over the increasing support to state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste announced last week in parliament that the ministry has taken over a portfolio of 22 commercial public enterprises, with a total asset value of N$70.2 billion and liabilities of N$33.2 billion. Commercial SOEs, from which the government expects to receive dividends, collectively received N$1.2 billion from treasury in bailouts for the 2017/18 financial year. Kandume referred to the Namibia Broadcasting Cooperation (NBC), TransNamib, and Air Namibia as some of the parastatals that continue to get bailouts from the government.
State-owned enterprises will receive N$1.3 billion with Air Namibia receiving the lion’s share of that budgetary allocation, Jooste announced.
Air Namibia will receive N$984 million. Jooste said out of about N$1.4 billion allocated to the ministry, N$1.3 billion will be for the support to commercial public enterprises, while the remaining N$38 million will go towards the execution of the ministry’s activities. “We are exhausting our energy tool long on state-owned enterprises. I don’t see any need why NBC, TransNamib and Air Namibia have to be given money every year. For example, with NBC, when are we going to have a peace of mind and smile on our faces to see NBC pay dividends back to the government?” Kandume queried.
He said these entities are given so much money but they fail to make a profit. On Covid-19, Kandume said many companies have been affected so severely that they are unable to pay their employees their full salaries, while they are still expected to pay tax.
Therefore, he suggested, the government exempt all affected Namibians from paying tax for two months during these unprecedented times of the pandemic.
2020-06-16 10:03:43 | 23 days ago