Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Matambo urges parastatals to do more with less amid recession

A number of parastatals that depend on government subventions will find it tough during financial year 2010/11, but government has warned that this should not be used as an excuse to default on delivering on their mandates.

This week, Kenneth Matambo, the Minister of Finance and Development Planning told CEOs and Managing Directors of parastatals that those that depend on subventions will have to understand circumstances government finds itself in.

He also told the heads under his ministry that their objective should be to excel on what they are doing.

“When we talk about the success of the ministry, we are not talking about the success of ministry headquarters, but the success of our parastatals (also),” said the former BDC Managing Director.

“I encourage you to do the best you can. Our objectives should be to excel on what we are doing; by not only making surpluses, but other things we are doing.”

Matambo on Monday met CEOs and Managing Directors of BDC, Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE), IFSC, Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), PEEPA, NBFIRA, MVA Fund and BURS in a bid to share expectations.

His assistant, Charles Tibone, has been visiting the parastatals individually since the fall of last year.

During his maiden budget speech, the minister revealed that a requirement that commercial parastatals pay 25 percent of their profits to Government ‘will be strictly enforced’.

However, analysts view this as contradictory, especially looking at the fact that subventions to some parastatals will be reduced.

Contrary, Matambo says the move is quite in order explaining that government needs to raise funds, however, saying that most of the parastatals do not entirely depend on subventions.

“The lack of adequate resources should not be used as an excuse to achieve objectives. We should achieve much with less looking at the economic hardship we find ourselves in,” the minister reiterated President Ian Khama’s view.

Matambo argued that government has to raise revenues to finance the expansionary development budget sitting at P12.1 billion.

“If a parastatal is making a profit, we are saying 25 percent should be paid to government. There is nothing inconsistent; that is a way of raising money.”

The minister told The Telegraph that the performance of many parastatals under his ministry’s ambit was satisfactory ‘in terms of profitability’.

“There are those that made profit and those that did not, but I am generally satisfied on their performance,” he said.

Government is in the process of merging some parastatals with duplicate roles as part of rationalisation exercise.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.