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GOVERNMENT SET FOR MAJOR SHAKE-UP

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MBABANE – Government is set for a major shake-up. This is if the ambitious National Development Plan (NDP) 2019/20 -2021/22 is fully implemented.
Among some of the things government wants to implement is the reintroduction of early retirement schemes for civil servants.


The well articulated 131-page document also states that government intends to review the pay structure of the public sector.
The early retirement schemes were once proposed about 10 years ago and were known as the Early Voluntary Exist Retirement Scheme (EVERS) but for some reason, it was not implemented. “Restructuring of ministries, departments and agencies where efficiencies can be created and review organisational structures,” is another key area which the plan is gunning for.


The NDP was tabled by the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Dr Thambo Gina, in Parliament on Wednesday.
Under Strategy 3, which is titled rebalance of expenditures and reduce size of the wage bill, government further plans to review allowances and government housing benefits. The NDP further states that government will remove all ghost employees.  

          
The plan has identified six national outcomes which are envisaged to be achieved as a means to holistically develop Eswatini.
One of the key sectoral outcome targets is to ensure that the sum of the wage bill and transfers is brought to under 50 per cent of total expenditures by 2021/22 from 58.5 per cent in 2018/19. 


Development


The new national document states that the national outcomes were formulated after an analysis of the developmental situation in the country, which is characterised by an unprecedented fiscal crisis, as well as low human and social development.
These were characterised by high unemployment and poverty rate, disastrous impacts of climate change as well as weak public service delivery and governance mechanism.


The first of the six national outcomes is good governance, economic recovery and fiscal stability. The second national outcome is an enhanced dynamic private sector supporting sustainable and inclusive growth, with the third being the enhanced  social human and capital development.
They also include the enhanced efficient public service delivery that respects human rights, justice and the rule of law and also a well-managed natural resources and environmental sustainability.


The last of the expected national outcomes is the efficient economic infrastructure network and according to the NDP, it will be achieved through a number of sectoral outcomes or programmes and projects which are well articulated.


parastatals


On the sectoral outcome of improved fiscal expenditure management, government, under Strategy 4, also aims to review parastatals with an aim to decrease subventions and increase dividends.


The intervention, according to the NDP, would be to have a comprehensive review of all parastatals and to investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of parastatals in achieving outcomes. “Merge parastatals with others or ministries where appropriate,” reads the document.


Government also plans to investigate low current dividends being returned to government from parastatals and further consider privatisation of some commercial parastatals.
          


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