The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minster of the economy has revealed plans by the Government to cut its expenditure come 2015. This is against the backdrop of a drop in oil prices which she sees an opportunity for the country to refocus efforts towards the non-oil sectors in preparation for a future with less oil revenue.
This is how she put it;
“Every country that is well managed doesn’t just seat and allow a situation to happen to them. If they are well managed, they prepare the right set of policies to deal with the situation.
“Those days when we used to be like that in the ‘80s and 90s are over. In the ‘80s, when we had shocks, we didn’t take measures by ourselves to adjust. We waited for others to come and tell us how to adjust. But now we have competent teams and our job is not to sit and wait, but, to craft a set of policies and that will help us address these shocks.
“We are not talking about (cutting) salaries and benefits. We are talking of trainings and travels and these will be only for critical and essential items which will be pre-approved by the Head of Service and the Director-General of the Budget Office and then if someone invites you for overseas course, you can go provided they pay for your training and your stay and you have to furnish evidence that they are paying before you will be allowed.
“The purpose of this is to tell you what we are doing and this team is calm and will be effective and we are working with the monetary policy authorities and together we will manage the economy in a transparent manner so that people need not have any fear.”
Some National dailies reported this as some form of “austerity” measures whilst some called it “SAP”.