Schlettwein reveals Government's budget priorities

24 Oct 2018 19:40pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) - Government will prioritise the implementation of public sector investment stimulus as a way of reinvigorating growth as a necessary condition for job creation, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein has said.
He was speaking in the National Assembly on Wednesday during the presentation of the 2018/19 Mid-Year Budget Review.
Schlettwein said Government will also prioritise the promotion of private-sector led investments to support domestic economic activity.
“The pre-qualification stage for key development projects funded under the Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Programme in collaboration with the African Development Bank such as the agricultural mechanisation programme, Walvis Bay-Kranzburg railway rehabilitation and Windhoek-Hosea Kutako International Airport road is completed,” he said.
The finance minister said negotiations with the African Development Bank have also been completed to achieve optimal local participation and sourcing of goods and services.
This intervention will inject about N.dollars 2 billion annually over the next two years, to be scaled up by a further N.dollars 4 billion from domestic co-funding.
“Our collaboration and partnerships with the private sector is to address binding constraints for a more elevated private sector participation and to unlock domestic savings and investment opportunities,” Schlettwein said.
Another priority will be to maintain a gradual fiscal consolidation policy with strong growth impetus to safeguard macroeconomic stability and long-term fiscal sustainability, while supporting economic growth and job creation objectives.
This will continue to be pursued along the fiscal adjustment path for the next medium term expenditure framework, with the budget deficit projected to average around 3,6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and debt to plateau at about 48,7 per cent of GDP.
Government will also scale up resource allocation to implement priority resolutions identified at the second National Land Conference held earlier this month.
These priorities include more serviced land in urban and peri-urban areas, delivery of low cost housing, improving animal health and processing facilities in communal areas and resettlement and post-resettlement support programmes.
Another priority is protecting expenditure in the social sectors of education, health and skills development by maintaining expenditure allocation in real terms and implementing measures to improve internal efficiencies, quality of spending and outcomes.
Schlettwein further said the sustainability and efficiency of many public enterprises remain a concern.
“The demand for subsidies while at the same time utility prices are significantly higher than the regional average cannot any longer be the norm. We shall therefore strengthen subsidy agreements and performance contracts to ensure sustainable pricing and enhance outcomes.”
Government will also strengthen the quality of spending to curb growth in the public service personnel and public sector wage bill.