National Budget increases with N.dollars 4.04 billion


The National Budget for the 2017/18 financial year was increased by N.dollars 4.04 billion dollars, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein announced in the National Assembly (NA) on Thursday.

Presenting the Mid-term Budget Review, Schlettwein said the additional budget allocation was to cater for the 2016/17 expenditure arrears whose payments were front loaded in August 2017 and for various offices, ministries and agencies.

The 2017/18 National Budget was increased from 57 540 138 000 to N.dollars 61 612 329 000.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation received an increase of N.dollars 807.7 million. This is to be allocated mainly to the University of Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia Training Authority and the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund.

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture budget was increased by N.dollars 899 million for the procurement of text books, hostel catering and the school feeding programme.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Social Services received N.dollars 100 million for the purchase of pharmaceuticals and personnel expenditure.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare was allocated an increase of N.dollars 41 million for social grants and the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration got N.dollars 42.8 million for remuneration.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare received N.dollars 17 million for utilities and court disputes.

Several ministries also received budget increases for operational expenses.

These include:
- Mines and Energy N.dollars 16 million
- Safety and Security N.dollars 150 million
- Information and Communication Technology N.dollars 80 million
- Industrialization, Trade and SME Development N.dollars 11 million

Schlettwein said the social sector was by far the main beneficiary, taking up half of the total re-allocation, followed by the economic sector, infrastructure and administration sectors.

The Office of the Attorney General is the only government agency to have its budget unchanged.

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