Seven months after the 2021/22 National Budget allocations were announced in March, Government ministries have gone back to ask for more money from the minister of finance in what is known as the Mid-Year Budget Policy Review and Medium Term Fiscal Policy Announcement done yesterday in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Ipumbu Shiimi.
While a total of N$7.1 billion was asked for by various ministries and government agencies to fill up gaps in their budgets, only N$2.2 was approved and allocated to various ministries and agencies to fulfil their obligations until the next budget which comes next year in March.
The biggest beneficiary of this Mid-Year Budget is the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs which received a total of N$477.1, followed by the Ministries of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, and the Ministry of Health and Social Services who both received N$400 million each.
Surprisingly the Ministry of Youth, Sport and National Youth Service did not receive anything, while the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation received only N$1.3 million, which will go to personnel expenditure.
The Ministry of Industrialization and Trade is allocated N$43.2 million for remuneration, the Integrated Client Services Facility (ICSF), utilities as well as expenditure of various public enterprises under its wings.
While Namibia is faced with high unemployment, poverty, and lack of housing nothing has been set aside for economic growth and employment creation efforts, while the ministry responsible for housing (Ministry of Urban and Rural Development) received nothing.
When asked for comment Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade senior communication officer Mr Elijah Mukubonda said that although his Ministry received only N$43.2 million, which is too small when compared to the huge mandate the Ministry has of creating economic infrastructures which facilitate economic growth and employment creation, it has for the past few years been the situation of the Ministry asking for more but receiving little from the Minister of Finance.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Finance has allocated for itself an additional N$230 million, consisting of N$200 million for PSEMAS funding shortfalls because of increased claims due to the third wave of COVID-19 and N$30 million for subscription fees.
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology received N$141.7 million for the operations of the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, while the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism received N$4 million for anti-poaching activities.
In the photo: Minister of Finance Ipumbu Shiimi.