MP wants clarification on economic diversification

Stefanus Nashama

The Deputy Leader of the Landless People’s Movement, Henny Seibeb says he will face the Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises, Iipumbu Shiimi on Thursday with ‘serious’ questions concerning the subject of economic diversification in Namibia.

The Parliamentarian explained that economic diversification entails the expansion of the range of products offered by a country adding that it can be assessed by examining the variety of goods and services encompassed within the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or the range of export commodities.

“On December 7, 2022, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Namibia. During the consultation, the IMF Directors underscored the significance of promoting inclusive growth through the implementation of structural reforms that facilitate diversification and enhance productivity,” he stated.

According to Seibeb, the Directors’ consultations with Namibia recognises the importance of stimulating growth led by the private sector and generating employment opportunities, with measures recommended by the Directors to enhance the business environment, improve access to finance, and reinforce governance standards.

He further said the consultations also emphasized the need for concerted efforts to address food insecurity, including initiatives aimed at bolstering climate resilience within the agricultural sector.

“Some of the factors like unexpectedly high fuel and food prices, a slowdown in the global economy, a decline in export commodity prices, and further tightening of global financial conditions could exacerbate inflation, exacerbate imbalances, and undermine the ongoing recovery process,”Seibeb said.

Seibeb said he wants to know if Shiimi has implemented policies and practical steps to protect the most vulnerable from the impact of higher food and fuel prices.

He stressed that the Minister should also provide insights on the progress made in finalizing the Public Asset Ownership Policy, which aims to establish the principles governing government asset ownership.

“I am interested in understanding the measures taken to expedite its implementation,” he alluded.

He said he also wants to understand how the rationalization of State- Owned Enterprises (SOEs) can potentially enhance expenditure efficiency while minimizing the risk of exacerbating income inequality in the country.

He said the Minister should explain the measures undertaken to enhance tax compliance and enforcement, which according to Seibeb, constitutes crucial components of the Namibia Revenue Agency’s strategy.

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