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Statement for the 2004/05 budget and 2004/05-2006/07 Medium Term Expenditure Framework

Saara Kuugongelwa Amadhila

24 March 2004

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Opening Remarks

  1. Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members of the National Assembly.

  2. It is an honour for me to present the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2004/05 and the Medium Term Framework for 2004/05, 2005/06 and 2006/07 Financial Years before this August House.

  3. This year's Budget has been prepared against the background of a recovering international economic outlook and a challenging domestic economic situation. This calls for more prudence in macroeconomic policy management.

  4. Honourable Speaker, there are hard choices to be made. On the one hand, we need to channel resources to tackle poverty, address health and social issues (including the HIV/AIDS pandemic), improve educational standards, develop our country’s infrastructure and guarantee peace and stability. On the other hand we need to contain the increasing level of national debt.

  5. This year's budget is therefore about tough compromises. We are directing resources towards our development priorities, but we are also making large savings on non-essential expenditures.

  6. We should treat the next financial-year not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity. Yes, it will be a challenge because finances are tight, but it is also an opportunity for us to learn to manage our scarce resources more effectively and efficiently.

  7. Honourable Speaker, some of the most important announcements I am making in my speech today are not about appropriation of money. Instead, they are about fundamental reforms to the budget process. These reforms are aimed at improving results from public expenditure, measured in terms of social and economic outcomes.

  8. I will also explain how we are implementing policies to manage risks on Government’s revenue and expenditure, and improve debt management.

  9. Before I go into the details of the Main Budget estimates, let me give a brief overview of the recent economic situation globally, in the region and domestically.

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