NCCI Northern branch want Calle to consolidate
February 25, 2016, 7:35am
By TM for Lela
The Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Northern Branch Chairperson Tomas Iindji want the Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein to focus on fiscal consolidation when he announces the national budget today.
The NCCI Northern branch want the fiscus to pump more money on developmental projects.
The following are the expectations of the NCCI Northern branch from the budget to be announced today.
We believe that Minister Schlettwein will successfully be able to guide the economy through the current uncertainty in global markets, falling commodities prices, and the tremendously devastating effects of the drought.
- We are expecting our budget to focus on fiscal consolidation, meaning cut unnecessary expenditure in order to reduce government debts.
- Furthermore, we are likely to see genuine youth employment initiatives aimed at lowering there.
- On business aspects we are expecting that the budget should focus more on productive expenditures with a focus of improving infrastructure development to increase capital expenditures which will benefit business people and SME’s. Mismanagement of many parastatal companies has become a trend which we must work to reverse. We hope the Minister will expand the use of public private partnership initiatives to boost investment in infrastructure projects and we hope the idea of more privatization of government owned entities will follow in the future.
- We do expect some fiscal consolidation in light of falling tax revenue receipts and an uncertain growth outlook. Money must be allocated to the most productive areas where benefits are tangible and where the objectives are focused on President Geingob’s 3 pillars of poverty eradication, income inequality and unemployment.
- Domestic growth forecasts for Namibia have been revised lower for the coming year. Slower growth and falling tax revenues create a budget bind and the Minister must prioritize government spending properly. We support his efforts.
- Toward this aim, we expect the Minister to finalize the Public Procurement Act regulations so that our public funds are utilized effectively through these tenders and that the process is transparent. The old way of corruption, mismanagement, over spending, and negotiations in secrecy are over and this new process will be the future.
- We expect the Solidarity tax to be in place and act as an initial measure to begin reigning in the widening gap of income inequality in this country by raising marginal tax rates on the more affluent Namibians. They can afford to pay their part in support of the larger needs of the country.
- Similar to the steps taken by South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, cushioned low-income earners from tax increases while cutting spending targets, providing support to an economy set to grow at the slowest pace. We advise against any VAT increase and expect that company taxes will also be spared to safeguard growth and maintain the environment to support investment.
- We expect Minister Schlettwein to announce broad measures aimed at boosting revenue collection, and provide an update on the progress of establishing a semi-autonomous revenue service.
- One of the major challenges faced by the Minister of Finance is, undoubtedly, the adverse effects of the drought. The water crisis is reaching an emergency level many did not foresee and it will take a monumental effort to overcome these challenges and protect our people.
- Speaking directly to the business community which we represent here at the Chamber, I must urge tax compliance for the sake of our country’s development. If we want to ensure that our country is developing properly and prepared to meet the challenges of the future, then we must all pay our fair share.