Saturday, May 28, 2022

Health, education and defence get largest share of budget

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has been allocated the largest share of 18.7 percent of the proposed Ministerial Recurrent Budget, amounting to P10.01 billion. This represents a significant growth of P2.11 billion or 26.7 percent over the current year’s approved budget.
Delivering the 2022 budget speech, Minister of Finance Peggy Serame said government’s continued response to the pandemic will entail the procurement of more personal protective equipment, oxygen equipment, and vaccines, including booster vaccines, as well as logistics and ancillary supplies. She added that the budget allocation also provides for medical aid cover to public service employees under the Botswana Public Officers Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS).


The second largest share of the budget was allocated to the Ministry of Basic Education from the proposed Ministerial Recurrent Budget of 18.5 percent, amounting to P9.87 billion. Serame said the proposed allocations are intended to help drive the Ministry’s key mandate of striving to educate students to become self-sufficient, life-long learners and empower them to be competent, productive and responsible caring citizens.


“The major cost drivers of the proposed budget include teachers’ salaries, which includes provision for new teacher positions to absorb 3 509 temporary teachers on a full-time basis, as well as allowances, operational costs for Botswana Examination Council, food and books for students, service charges and other costs associated with learners such as materials for practical subjects,” Serame revealed.


The third largest share of the proposed Ministerial Recurrent Budget amounting to P8.53 billion, or 16.0 percent goes to the Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security. Serame said the proposed budget entails an increase of P135.02 million, or 1.6 percent, over the 2021/2022 approved budget. It includes budgetary provision for operational costs, mainly for Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Police Service and Prisons and Rehabilitation Services. She further stated that the funding will be utilized to drive policy objectives such as provide safety and protection to citizens; promote human rights and the rule of law, professional policing service in partnership with the community, provide legal advice, legal representation and public education on legal matters to the underprivileged and vulnerable sections of the population.


“The proposed budget allocation for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development is P7.15 billion, or 13.4 percent, representing the fourth largest share of the Ministerial Recurrent Budget,” said Serame.


She said the total proposed allocation for Ministerial Recurrent expenditure stands at P53.36 billion, which is an overall growth of P2.71 billion or 5.3 percent over the current year’s approved budget of P50.66 billion.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper