Under-utilisation a ‘concern’
The under-utilisation of the development budget and in particular, the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) is a cause for national concern, said Finance Minister, Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, at the tabling of the 2012/2013 national budget on Tuesday.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila continued to say that under-utilised allocations should be seen as lost development opportunities, cost of borrowing and how such allocations could have found alternative uses in the economy.
“The 2012/13 budget summons the venerable duty of individual offices, ministries and agencies to reduce wastage and to waste neither time nor energy to implement programmes and to realize internal efficiency and value for money. This is what priority allocation and operational efficiency are all about. The core message emanating from the first year of TIPEEG implementation is that more money per se does not guarantee success. We have to inculcate the culture of innovation and efficient service delivery,” she said.
According to reports, millions of dollars which were earmarked for the 2011/2012 financial year went back to Treasury as some ministries failed to implement projects.
TIPEEG is a three-year programme aimed at addressing unemployment through government programmes and projects which can potentially create 100,000 of direct and indirect jobs. A total of 7600 jobs were estimated to have been created under the programme during the 2011/2012 financial year.
TIPEEG was first introduced last year and N$5.8 billion was allocated to projects under the programme. A total of N$14.7 billion was allocated to TIPEEG over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
“In regard to the implementation rate, the total development budget expenditure and expenditure commitments, including TIPEEG amounts to N$5.9 billion, which represents an execution rate of 73.1%. The reported limiting factors which hinder smooth implementation of this programme include scarcity of engineering capacity in regard to project preparation; and limited implementation and monitoring capacity at ministries and agencies level. I must emphasize that allocated funds should not only be seen to have been spent, but the quality of expenditure and optimum outcomes need to be assured. Going forward, TIPEEG process re-engineering will receive priority attention as well,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
The total budget execution for the 2011/2012 financial year was 96.9%, with the operational budget execution rate being 97.7%. The total budget for 2011/2012 was N$38 billion.