Consolidation plan to continue: Schlettwein

31 Jul 2017 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 31 JUL (NAMPA) – Although the Namibian economy has strengthened more than last year, the consolidation policy will continue, pledged Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein on Monday.
Schlettwein told Nampa immediately after President Hage Geingob’s media conference here Monday that nothing will be lifted so far as the consolidation plan is concerned.
In 2016, the Finance minister announced the fiscal consolidation policy framework in the Mid-Year Budget Review through which Government aligned expenditure closer to revenue, thus reducing growth in public debt and budget deficit.
The consolidation plan includes budget cuts for ministries and agencies, reduction in travelling and subsistence allowances and shelving some of the big projects.
Geingob indicated on Monday that the actual state of the economy was better than currently portrayed in the public domain.
He explained that the country’s economy was put through the brunt of the downturn and is now on a recovery path.
Geingob said Namibia’s consolidation plan is deemed to be credible and has earned the country the status of being the only sub-Saharan African country which has been issued a Eurobond at investment grade rating.
The President said the recovery is supported by facts that Namibia received good rainfall during the just-ended rainy season, which he described as significant.
“We observed recovery in the agricultural sectors, both crop production where a bumper harvest is expected and livestock farming, where there has been an uptick in meat prices.
“We have instituted fiscal cuts since independence to rescue the economy and put it on a sustainable long-term growth trajectory,” he said.
Geingob listed the fiscal cuts as shelving big expenditure items such as Kudu Gas, Hosea Kutako International Airport, construction of the new Parliament building and putting on hold other projects.
He said had these projects proceeded as planned, the cost incurred could have crippled the economy.
Geingob also said some projects were shelved as a result of poor governance in the tender awarding process.