27 Mar 2019 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 27 MAR (NAMPA) - Government has increased the monthly Old Age Pension grant by N.dollars 50 to N.dollars 1 250.
This was announced by Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein, during the tabling of the 2019/20 National Budget in the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Schlettwein said the pension fund was increased given the high dependence ratio and challenging effects of the cost of living at household level.
Highlighting the social sectors allocation, he said investment in the sector remains central to long-term productive capacity and to shield its strata vulnerability.
Amidst limited financial space, allocations to social sectors are maintained or scaled up to mitigate reversals, he said.
The minister noted that the share of social sector allocation is maintained at 49.3 per cent, which equals N.dollars 29.6 billion of the 2019/20 budget and N.dollars 88.9 billion over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture received N.dollars 13.8 billion and N.dollars 41.4 billion over the MTEF, while the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation received N.dollars 3.1 billion and about N.dollars 9.4 billion over the METF.
Under the Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, N.dollars 911.9 million will go to the University of Namibia, N.dollars 500 million to the Namibia University of Science Technology and N.dollars 3.4 billion to the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund, all over the MTEF.
Such resource outlay reflects the Governments commitment to invest in the youth and human capital development as the central driver for sustainable development and poverty reduction over time, said Schlettwein.
The Ministry Health and Social Services was allocated N.dollars 6.9 billion, representing a 2,3 per cent improvement from the previous year and about N.dollars 20.6 billion over the MTEF.
Schlettwein said the incremental increase in the health ministrys allocation is to support procurement of pharmaceuticals, recruitment of additional health personnel, combating of public health outbreaks and the maintaining of health infrastructure.
He further noted that the Public Service Medical Aid Scheme (PSEMAS) member contribution has doubled, which brings the total contribution from the current N.dollars 410 million to N.dollars 820 million effective April 2019.
The medical aid scheme, which covers 95 per cent of medical expenses for public servants, received an allocation of N.dollars 2.8 billion for the 2019/20 financial year and covers 130 000 members and 155 000 dependants.