Govt spends P18.8 Billion in five Years
The multiple special fund which collect various levies is currently sitting at an impressive P1.9 billion as of the 30th of June 2023.The funds are utilized in accordance with their respective purposes though sometimes the special funds are utilised for activities that are not related to the purpose stated in the fund.
These government levies are currently 12 in total and they include the cattle export levy, plastic levy, bed levy finance, alcohol levy ,tobacco, national petroleum, national electrification, levy on technical devices ,gambling levy ,national road safety levy, road levy and human resource development fund.
According to Minister of Finance Peggy Serame, a total of P18.8billion has been expended since April 2018,excluding expenditure under the plastic and gambling levy respectively due to the fact that their special funds became operational in April and May 2023 respectively.
Charged at P500 per head of cow for live cattle and P30.00 for slaughtered, cattle levy fund stood at P7.2 million as of April 2018,however over the five-year period, the fund grew to P61.5 million due to cash inflows. However, expenditure of P54 million left the fund standing at P14.7 million as of last month.
The environmental levy which is at 015t per sale of plastic currently stands at P25.6 million while the bed levy has accumulated P104 million. Having peaked at P383 million, the alcohol levy fund stands at P70 million following a withdrawal of P342 million. On the other hand, the tobacco, national petroleum and national electrification funds have accumulated P156 million, P313 million and P110 million respectively.
“The process of taking monies from government levies and funds is governed by special fund orders and each fund has an administrator. Disbursements from each special fund involve preparation of payment vouchers which are then submitted to the office of Accountant General for further processing. Before each payment is made ,the relevant counter at office of Accountant General verifies that the payment is in line with the purpose of the fund. If it is found to be in order, the payment is then processed through Bank of Botswana,”Serame explained.
Levy on technical devices stands at P66 million despite a withdrawal of P14 million during the period while gambling fund which is newly established has accumulated P18.4 million to date. The levy charged at 1 and 2 percent of the levy on cost price for specified goods is derived from all imported and locally manufactured blank sound and audio visual carriers and compact discs amongst others
On the other hand, the road safety fund, road levy and human resource development fund closed at P80.7,P906 and P74.2 million respectively. While the national road safety levy is charged at P50 per motor vehicle, the road levy is charged at 0.90t per litre with the sole purpose to finance maintenance of roads around the country.
Serame was answering a question in parliament from Serowe North MP, Baratiwa Mathoothe who wanted to know the number of government levies in place, amount in each levy fund currently and the amount government has spent from these levy fees accounts and the process involved when taking money from government levies and funds.