by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

The government is pondering the possibility of providing guarantees to financial institutions giving consumers loan and mortgage holidays in a bid to cushion the effects of Covid-19.

PANELLISTS … from left: Finance executive director Ericah Shafudah, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi and deputy information minister Emma Theofelus yesterday at the Covid-19 information centre. Photo: Contributed.

Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi yesterday said the focus is on optimally utilising scarce resources to improve key sectors.
He said while banking clients are considered, education is another sector to be pondered.

“It may not be easy to convince banks to give zero interest loans, but what we are doing is to guarantee these loans with banks in instances where those who get are tax compliant. It is not going to be easy and we must manage the small resources we have optimally. There are many considerations being made and we will continue assessing the situation,” he said.

Namibia is grappling a solid solution for dealing with the challenges of Covid-19 in an already stretched economy.

Shiimi said the government is well aware of the revenue squeeze ahead and is trying not to spend unnecessarily.

“We are worried, and when something like this happens, money flows out and goes to where it’s better protected, so we need to find ways of keeping investors keen on keeping their money here… Even bigger economies are experiencing this,” he said.

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