Government to establish Infrastructure fund

27 Sep 2017 21:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 (NAMPA) – Namibia will establish an Infrastructure Fund by the end of October to finance current and future infrastructure in the country according to Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein on Wednesday.
Speaking during a media briefing here, Schlettwein explained that the fund forms part of emerged policies to be tabled in the Mid-Year Budget Review to support the economy and address macro-fiscal risks.
To give effect to economic growth dimension, Schlettwein said, they had engaged the public and private sector to establish an Infrastructure Fund to finance current and future priority economic infrastructure.
The fund, which will be implemented through the Development Bank of Namibia, will draw capitalisation from the domestic financial and capital markets, with amortisation provided for under the budget over time as a measure to embed sustainability and fiscal transparency.
“This intervention has latitude of complementarity with the infrastructure financing through the African Development Bank and Public/Private/Partnership infrastructure financing arrangements,” he said.
These measures will be a good shot in the arm for the construction sector which is now bottoming out of the severe effects of the steep consolidation phase, Schlettwein said.
According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), the construction sector recorded a decline in real value added of 26.5 per cent in 2016 compared to a robust growth of 26 per cent in 2015.
The real value for construction works by Government slowed to 5.6 per cent in 2016 from a growth of 31 per cent recorded in 2015.
Other policies aimed to support the economy and address macro-fiscal risks, include the carrying through with the fiscal consolidation policy to achieve the expressed objective of stabilising growth in public debt and eventually reduce the debt level.
In addition the policies are meant to increasingly mobilise domestic resources to finance the national development agenda.
Schlettwein is expected to table the Mid-Year Budget Review next week.
In 2016, Schlettwein 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 included budget cuts for ministries and agencies, reduction in travelling and subsistence allowances and shelving some of the big projects.