6,4b for education
By Esau Muzeu
Namibia will spend over N$6,4 billion on education over the next financial year, according to this year’s financial budget unveiled in the National Assembly by Finance Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Education has been the perennial receiver of the biggest share of the country’s national budget since independence in 1990, followed by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
This year, the Ministry of Defence is the second biggest recipient, having been allocated over N$3,014 billion, followed by the Ministry of Finance, which has received just over N$2,6 billion.
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, which received just over N$2,5 billion this financial year will see its total allocation increase to N$8,171 billion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, from 2010/2011 to 2012/2013.
Housing, sanitation and rural development have also received a considerable share of the budget, which will increase to over N$2,8 billion over the MTEF. This is in line with the SWAPO Party government’s policy of promoting rural development.
Over the MTEF period, over N$257 million is earmarked for the provision of proper sanitation infrastructures in rural areas and in small towns, villages and informal urban settlements, bringing the total allocation to this sector to N$2,869 billion over the MTEF.
The National Housing Enterprise, NHE, will receive N$50 million over the MTEF to speed up the provision of low income housing.
Moreover, NHE will work together with the Government Institution Pension Fund, GIPF, to expand housing schemes for civil servants in un-proclaimed areas.
“This will not only give a boost to the housing provision programme, but it will also help attract skills to rural areas and thus support quality health care and education service delivery in rural areas. It will also support the use of our local savings towards supporting local development,” said Minister Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Natural unfortified wine has increased by 16 cents, sparkling wine by 51 cents, fortified wine by 31 cents, clear malt beer by N$3,79 to N$50,20 per litre of absolute alcohol. No tax concessions are proposed this year.
The total expenditure envelop for the MTEF amounts to N$85,668 billion, and consists of N$68,802 billion operational expenditure, while N$14,558 billion will be accorded to the development budget.
Old-age grants have increased from N$450 a month to N$500,00 per month. There are over 155,847 beneficiaries at the moment. Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s grants have been increased by N$30,00 per month, and school feeding programmes are being expanded to reach over 200 000 orphans and vulnerable children by 2013, from the current 160 000.