WINDHOEK – The first budget to be tabled by new Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein and the first under President’s Hage Geingob’s administration should be implemented speedily, advised Standard Bank Namibia’s Chief Executive Vetumbuavi Mungunda.
During a post-budget review gala dinner in Windhoek recently Mungunda emphasized that announcements made in the budget speech should be followed with quick legislative and regulatory changes. This, he said, is required to give full effect to the budget announcements as soon as possible, ensuring its intended impact is promptly transferred to the economy.
“In last year’s budget an announcement was made by the previous finance minister about a reduction in the corporate tax rate. This never materialized, because it was never gazetted,” said Mungunda.
“This budget was preceded by high expectations of reforms from all walks of life in Namibia. The budget has been presented at the backdrop of the aftermath of the global economic unease that culminated in the collapse of the global oil prices. This prompted different government interventions or responses around the world,” commented Mungunda.
“The business environment remains extraordinarily uncertain and the markets such as the foreign exchange and interest rate markets will be unusually volatile. However, it is expected of us as business leaders to form some judgement of the future for our own businesses and economy in the face of this volatility and uncertainty,”
Mungunda said. He added that in an environment of uncertainty business leaders have a greater need to understand the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. “During the past year, there has been an alignment in optimism and improved macro-economic parameters. Monetary policy was afforded space for expansion as one of the greatest challenges and inflation declined,” he remarked.
Mungunda said that the budget gave due importance to all sections of the economy and tried to enhance the ease of doing business and infrastructure development, while keeping its focus on dealing with poverty alleviation and social inequalities.