CSOs Engage the Minister of Finance on Priorities for 2022/23 Mid-Year Budget Review

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On 22 July 2022, the Civil Society Information Centre Namibia (CIVIC +264) and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) hosted a consultative meeting with the Minister of Finance, Hon. Iipumbu Shiimi, regarding priorities for 2022/23 Mid-Year Budget Review. 

The consultation provided an opportunity for civil society to raise issues that should be prioritised in the 2023/24 National Budget. During her welcoming and opening, the CIVIC +264 Coordinator, Ms Carola Engelbrecht lamented the importance of loosening the bottlenecks so that grassroots voices and inputs can be accommodated in the National Budget process.

Hon. Iipumbu Shiimi emphasized the importance of having a National Budget that is fit for purpose and the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). From the Ministry of Finance, he was joined by the Director of Economic Policy Advisory Service, Mr Festus Nghifenwa; Economic Advisor, Ms Helvi Fillipus; and the Director of Budget Management, Ms Taina Nainkela. The Ministry of Finance delegation along with Mr Martin Kaonzo from the National Planning Planning Commission (NPC) gave presentations and high-level updates on Namibia's Economic Development & Diversification as well as the Operational & Development Budget.

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Minister of Finance, Hon. Iipumbu Shiimi, gives a brief overview of the National Budget process

In-person and virtual attendees from over 20 civil society organisations (CSOs) were also enabled the opportunity to raise concerns and points related to the Mid-Year Budget Review. Some of the inputs included -

  • The need for the Ministry of Finance to strengthen coordination with the Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia (ACC) in the fight against corruption,
  • High levels of inequality in Namibia, and therefore the need to look towards a Basic Income Grant (BIG) in Namibia,
  • The dilapidated condition of the Katutura State Hospital and the upgrading of sports stadiums,
  • Health concerns caused by the over-consuption of sugar and looking towards a sugar-tax, 
  • Companies evading tax, etc

Hon. Iipumbu Shiimi briefly responded to the Summary of concerns and points raised at the previous civil society online consultations on the National Budget (held in 2021). Similarly, the Ministry of Finance and NPC delegation responded to concerns and points raised during the current session. The Ministry of Finance will also be conducted further consultation in the regions and with other stakeholders.

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IPPR Executive Director, Mr Graham Hopwood, Delivering the Closing Remarks

The Mid-Year Budget Review is likely to be tabled in the National Assembly in October. As part of the Mid-Year Review, the Minister is expected to provide an update on the progress of the 2022/23 budget tabled on February 24 this year. He is also expected to propose re-allocations in budgeted expenditure in view of changing priorities and the latest economic outlook.

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The CIVIC +264 is currently still taking inputs in writing from CSOs on issues that should be
prioritised in the 2023/24 national budget. Due reference will be given to the submitter - author/CSO. These inputs will be submitted to the Minister of Finance.

If they have not done so already, interested CSOs are requested to share inputs in writing by Wednesday, 10 August 2022, to carola(at)mweb.com.na or info(at)civic264.org.na

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Click on the following link to watch the live stream of the consultative meeting: https://fb.watch/eHisQiPT6g/

Click on the following link to read/download the Presentation by the Ministry of Finance and the NPC: https://www.civic264.org.na/images/pdf/2022/8/MYBR_Consultations_Presentation_July_2022_.pdf

Click on the following link to read/download the Summary of concerns and points raised at the previous civil society online consultations on the National Budget (held in 2021)https://www.civic264.org.na/images/pdf/2022/8/MoF_CS_2021_Consultation.pdf

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