Appropriation Amendment Bill in Parliament Thursday

26 Oct 2016 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 26 OCT (NAMPA) – Major adjustments are expected in the budgets of ministries and parastatals when Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein tables the Appropriation Amendment Bill of 2016 in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday.
According to the order paper for Thursday, the Bill will be used to amend the Appropriation Act of 2016 to increase and decrease certain allocations to meet the financial requirements of the State during the remainder of the 2016/17 financial year that ends in March next year.
It is understood that due to the financial challenges faced by the State, the Ministry of Finance was forced to make major cuts in the budgets of certain ministries and State-Owned Enterprises and re-allocate funds to areas where the need is most pressing.
Government has prioritised poverty alleviation and employment creation as its major focus areas, while also having to deal with the issue of salary increments for civil servants as agreed upon between the public service unions and the Office of the Prime Minister.
Last year, Government prioritised drought relief; anti-poaching projects; fought foot and mouth disease and adjusted the salaries and bush allowances of civil servants.
It reduced spending on non-core activities including overtime; subsistence and travel allowances; office equipment and furniture; maintenance; non-operational equipment; and vehicles, among others.
These items were considered not to be of urgent priority, while funds amounting to N.dollars 4 billion were freed up for reallocation to urgent commitments including pharmaceuticals; water capacity; remuneration; wildlife protection; mass land servicing and the mass housing project; and an increase in the allocation to the Namibia Students’ Financial Assistance Fund.
A specific allocation was also made for anti-retroviral drugs and other medicine and the lease of locomotives for TransNamib.