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Vol. 22 No. 151 Windhoek, Namibia Thursday, March 9 2017 Calle walks the tightrope Inside Today Roads swept away by heavy rain Recent heavy rains have swept away several segments of gravel roads in the north, leaving some communities completely cut off from basic services. Page 3 NCCI mobilising companies on service charter The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry will mobilise stakeholders in various business sectors for them to contribute to the realisation of the Harambee Prosperity Plan. Page 9 Independence Boxing Bonanza launched Namibia’s former WBA lightweight world champion Paulus ‘The Hitman’ Moses will headline this year’s Independence Boxing Bonanza, slated for the Ramatex Hall in the capital on the 1st of next month. Page 24 Delicate balancing act… Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein is seen arriving at the Tintenpalast in Windhoek yesterday for the tabling of the 2017/18 national budget, which has been hailed by analysts as a serious attempt to tackle the country’s economic challenges. Total Budget: Estimated Revenue: Budget Deficit: Development Budget: Old Age Pension: PSEMAS Injection: Desie Heita Windhoek A budget ‘designed to restore confidence’ Edgar Brandt Windhoek Initial reactions from economic analysts in response to yesterday’s tabling of a N.54 billion national budget are that Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein had no major surprises and in fact sent out all the right messages to restore confidence in the domestic economy. Minister Schlettwein yesterday revealed his proposed expenditure outlay, which is equivalent to 36.6 percent of GDP and represents an increase of 1.7 percent from the revised budget of N.50 billion tabled the previous year. Total spending for the next three years is projected to remain relatively flat, with the indicative allocation for 2018/19 set at N.86 billion and N.72 billion for 2019/20. Ngoni Bopoto In particular, the ceiling for 2018/19 would be set at N.86 billion as once-off payments for services are completed. The total non-interest expenditure for 2017/18 amounts to N.54 billion, which is projected to increase by about 2.2 percent annually to N,5 billion N,4 billion 3,6% of GDP N,2 billion N,200 (p/month) N,5 billion Public Servant Salaries: Increase to 44,9% of budget Public Debt Stock: Decrease to 41,9 of GDP Despite the best efforts to realign public expenditure as closely as possible to the projected revenue, the national budget tabled yesterday is a harbinger of tough times ahead. A large chunk of the N,5 billion budgeted for total expenditures for the year would go towards financing the country’s most pressing social needs, such as health, education and social welfare for the country’s vulnerable citizens, as well as servicing the country’s mounting debts. Frans Uusiku CALLE on page 2 reach N.59 billion by the 2019/20 financial year. “The minister made the best of a very difficult situation, having committed to a high percentage of social spending (48 percent of total expenditure), including education, RESTORE on page 2 Johannes !Gawaxab !Gawaxab has his say on the budget The executive chairman of private equity fund manager EOS Capital, Johannes !Gawaxab shared with New Era his perspective on the national budget tabled in the National Assembly yesterday. Below is his verbatim statement on the 2017/18 budget. “The Minister made the best of a very difficult situation having committed to a high percentage (48 percent of total expenditure) of social spending - education, health and poverty alleviation - in an economy that has grown only by 1.3 percent last year and is set to grow around 2.5 percent in 2017. Only faster economic growth can ease the pressure off Namibia’s public finances and get us out of this ‘storm’. Through this budget proposal, Namibia also averted a potential fiscal crisis and the country is set to retain its fiscal sovereignty. The budget’s adherence to fiscal discipline will please ratings agencies and will continue to control our fiscal destiny. BUDGET on page 2 N$ 2.3 BILLION invested in our newest exploration and sampling vessel - mv SS Nujoma New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167