Sunday, June 23, 2024

Locally manufactured goods fail to meet tender specifications- Molosiwa

The Ministry of Trade and Industry is facing challenges of implementation of the Economic Diversification Drive (EDD) regarding the awarded tenders to manufacture products locally which do not meet tender specifications.

Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry Banny Molosiwa said some companies, which have been awarded tenders to manufacture products locally, still continue to supplement their supply with imports and limited range of locally manufactured goods and services as well as the quality of goods that do not meet tender specifications.

Molosiwa said that implementation of the EDD is still faced with numerous challenges, which include, among others, continued purchase of imported goods and services by government ministries and departments, parastatals and the private sector despite sustained public campaigns of the EDD.

“We are still facing challenges in dealing with construction permits and getting electricity. Furthermore, low labour productivity continues to undermine Botswana’s global competitiveness and prospects for economic growth as well as job creation,” said Molosiwa.

She pointed out that lengthy turnaround time for reviewing and enacting legislation is also a major constraint with respect to supporting proposed new reforms. The Permanent Secretary added that non-payment of industrial licenses fees by companies still continues to be an outstanding matter.

“Our mandate is to create a conducive environment for the development of sustainable industries and trade. This is aimed at diversifying and growing the economy, in order to create wealth and employment, so that the lives of Batswana are improved,” she stated.

She said notable success has been achieved in improving three indicators identified under the World Bank’s doing business report are starting a business, paying taxes and trading across borders.
Molosiwa also added that with respect to starting a business, they have introduced an indefinite licensing system, merged procedures for business name and company name registration and have reduced the number of application forms from six to two.

On other issues, Molosiwa revealed that the funds appropriated to the Ministry under the recurrent expenditure for the financial year 2011/2012 was P733, 035,790.00 and a budget of P20 000 000.00 was for the development expenditure for the financial year 2011/2012.

She said out of the provisions, an amount of P706, 087,635.00 (96.3 percent) was spent under the recurrent budget leaving a balance of P26, 948,155 (3.7 percent) unutilised; while P15 157 317 (75.8 percent) was spent on the development projects leaving a balance of P4, 842,683 (24.2 percent) unutilised.

She said the recurrent revenue estimate for the Ministry was P 28,876,410.00 and added that however, the actual collection was P50, 159,664.00 with a net over the estimate revenue collection of P23, 762,529.

“The ministry continues to implement appropriate control measures such as monthly meetings on PAC issues, both at departmental and ministerial levels to ensure proper follow-ups and timely updates of all the memorandum of progress items,” said Molosiwa.

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