Namibia tables bigger fiscal budget for 2023/24 financial year

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WINDHOEK, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Namibian Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises Iipumbu Shiimi on Wednesday proposed an 84.6 billion Namibian dollars (about 5.7 billion U.S. dollars) budget for the financial year 2023/2024.

Speaking at parliament while tabling the national budget speech, Shiimi said the earmarked amount includes 2 billion Namibia dollars in development projects funded outside the State Revenue Fund and 10 billion Namibia dollars in debt servicing costs.

According to Shiimi, 2023/2024 national budget is anchored on three fiscal pillars of pro-sustainability under which it aims to reduce the budget deficit, pro-poor by providing support for the poor via various social safety nets, and pro-growth by optimizing economic growth.

Shiimi said to guard against the erosion of purchasing power for the social safety nets, a provision has been made in this budget to increase the monthly Old Age Grant and the Disability Grant as well as the Orphan and Vulnerable Children Grant by 100 Namibia dollars per month.

On the revenue front, total collections of 74.7 billion Namibia dollars are estimated for the financial year 2023/24, about 16.5 percent higher than the revised estimates for the financial year 2022/23, he said, adding that the significant boost to revenues stems from an upward revision in receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) customs pool to 24.3 billion Namibia dollars, around 6.4 billion Namibia dollars higher than the previous estimates.

Meanwhile, Shiimi said on the domestic front, recovery in economic activities supported by gains from improved tax compliance in line with tax administration reforms resulted in upward revisions of expected collections on value-added tax and personal income tax.

According to Shiimi, for 2023, the country's economic growth is projected to moderate to 3.2 percent, reflecting revised mining production estimates, before slowing further to 2.2 percent in 2024.

"In this regard, growth is expected to be anchored by activities in the mining sector and tertiary industries as well as recovery in most sectors of the secondary industries," he said. Enditem

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