By Inside Biz
Business Eswatini (BE) has described this year’s budget by the Minister of Finance Neal Rijkeberg as sober-minded.
BE, Chief Executive Officer, Nathi Dlamini when reflecting on the budget, had this to say
“The budget speech seems to suggest that the minister is bent on an expansionary fiscal policy whilst being keenly cognizant of the growing debt stock. BE feels that a pro-growth strategy is not necessarily a bad thing given our situation in the country. However, the government must keep a keen eye on our public debt which has now breached the 40% psychological barrier”
Dlamini further noted that they were also encouraged by the Ministry resisting the temptation to increase taxes this year.
“For the first time since 2019, we are encouraged to see the removal of initiatives aimed at broadening collection from businesses and individuals’ pockets from the fiscal policy point of view. The minister, to his credit, resisted the temptation to overtax an already tax-weary and ‘heavy-laden’ nation. We think this was a wise move on his part”
BE added that the country is faced with inevitable hikes in the form of electricity tariffs, inflation, and interest rates, all of which will conspire and militate against business growth.
Additionally, the CEO noted that it was reassuring to know that at least the policy environment as spelled out by the minister in his speech will be conducive to business development and expansion.
Furthermore, Dlamini noted that this year’s budget speech points toward economic and fiscal enablers for increased local and foreign direct investment projects which will definitely auger well for job creation and skill cross-pollination.
BE concluded by reiterating that they are pleased with the fact that tax has not been increased this year.
“Crucially though, as the private sector, we are appreciative that there will be no income tax increases, and are also glad that there shall be renewable energy business opportunities which Business Eswatini is keen on”