Finance and Public Enterprises minister Iipumbu Shiimi today (22 February 2023) tabled a N$ 84.6 billion budget in the National Assembly for the 2023/24 financial year, which represents an increase of 9.7 percent from the comparable levels for last year.
The theme of this year’s budget is “Economic Revival and Caring for the Poor”.
“I table this budget in full awareness and recognition of the continued hardships endured by most of our citizens from the various corners of our beloved country. While I express gratitude for your forbearance, particularly over the difficult economic times, I would also like to express that your government has not forgotten you and your government is a caring government,” said Hon Shiimi.
He said that the FY2023/24 Budget maintains three inter-linked fiscal policy actions, namely; pro-sustainability as it reinforces the Government policy and spending priorities as well as the budgetary framework outlined in the FY2022/23 Mid-Year Budget Review.
The other one is that it is pro-poor as it provides support to the most vulnerable members of our society through a boost of our social safety nets cognisant of depreciating real incomes, particularly for low-income households, exacerbated by high inflation and rising interest rates.
The last action is that the budget is pro-growth as it continues the country’s advocacy for sustained timely implementation of enabling policy reforms to optimize economic outcomes through improving the ease of doing business, boosting business confidence, and entrenching policy certainty.
Some highlights from the Minister’s speech:
The Disability Grant for beneficiaries under the age of 18 has been increased from N$250 to N$1,400 per month. This change is effective on 01 April 2023;
An amount of N$69.8 million has been availed to expand the coverage of the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Grant by accommodating about 30,000 eligible children currently on the waiting list.
The minister said it is the government’s consideration to gradually increase the quantum of social assistance outlays towards children in an effort to improve the utilisation of safety nets as a tool to promote human capital development and ensure the intergenerational equity of social protection.
He added that allocations have been made to various youth programmes to support with skills development and capacity building. In this regard, the budget contains funding for the charcoal production projects through the National Youth Service (NYS), the youth credit scheme and 121 rural youth enterprises through the Ministry of Youth, Sports and National Service.
In addition, Agribank disbursed N$25.6 million to women and youth to promote inclusivity through their portfolio of inclusive products.
He added that the government aims to maintain a primary surplus over the MTEF and consequently maintain the budget deficit below 4.0 percent of GDP by the end of the MTEF.
Basic Education has been allocated N$16.8 billion in FY2023/24;
The Ministry of Gender, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has been allocated N$6.5 billion in FY2023/24, an increase from N$5.5 billion the previous year;
A total of N$4.2 billion in FY2023/24 and N$13.1 billion over the MTEF has been allocated to the sector responsible for facilitating the development of the requisite infrastructure to realise the development agenda.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform received a total of N$2.4 billion in FY2023/24, a 22.1 percent increase from the previous year;
The Higher Education Vote has been allocated N$3.8 billion in FY2023/24, 9.8 percent higher than the preceding year;
The Vote of Health and Social Services will receive N$9.7 billion in FY2023/24;
The Vote of Sports, Youth and National Service will receive N$ 473.2 million;
The vote of Industrialisation and Trade receives N$297.6 million;
the Ministry of Mines and Energy has been allocated N$250.7 million;
An amount of N$921.1 million has been allocated to the National Planning Commission in FY2023/24;
the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises has been allocated N$5.8 billion, including N$2.7;
Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security receives N$6.7 billion in FY2023/24
Judiciary has been allocated N$421.5 million;
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been allocated N$81.7 million in FY2023/24;
The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development has been allocated N$1.9 billion in FY2023/24;
Office of the President will receive an allocation of N$956.6 million in FY2023/24
Office of the Prime Minister receives N$478.7 million in FY2023/24.