The ministry of finance has confirmed that the 2020/21 Budget will not be tabled on Tuesday, 19 May, as was widely expected.
“We wrote a letter to the Speaker [of parliament] today proposing a new date. We must wait to talk about it more once the Speaker has received the letter,” chief public relations officer at the ministry, Tonateni Shidhudhu, told Market Watch this afternoon.
The country has now been without a budget for about six weeks – the new fiscal year started on 1 April.
It will be the first budget of new finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, who replaced Calle Schlettwein.
In the absence of a tabled budget, Shiimi is currently applying section 9 of the State Finance Act, “which provides for a continuation authorisation” pending the passing of the Appropriation Act by parliament.
The section allows government to use up to a third of the budget of the preceding financial year.
According to the mid-year budget review (MYBR) tabled by Schlettwein last October, Namibia’s budget for 2019/20 was estimated at nearly N$66.6 billion. Government is therefore allowed to use up to about N$22 billion to keep the state’s wheels rolling until the new budget is tabled.