Friday, September 25, 2020

Tibone scoffs at Reatile over time wasting

The Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Charles Tibone, Monday scoffed at Ngwaketse West MP, Mephato Reatile, for time wasting when the country should be heeding President Khama’s call for delivery.

Khama recently introduced another D (for Delivery) to his original 4Ds roadmap amid national elections fever and finally and officially endorsed the initiative in his State of the Union address last week.

He emphasised quality and tangible results for the benefit of the ordinary citizens.

That notwithstanding, Tibone was taken aback by Reatile who wanted to solicit information from the minister when, in actual fact, he could have accessed such information easily.

“Madam Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to inform this House that, amongst other publications, the Bank of Botswana publishes monthly banking industry wide data in the Botswana financial statistics which I encourage Honourable members to use,” said Tibone. “In addition, while my minister and I commit to answering questions as comprehensively as we can, I would urge the Honourable Member for Ngwaketse West to observe standing order 28 (I) (m) dealing with information found in accessible documents or ordinary works of reference. It would be advisable to utilize the research unit of parliament and research capability of the constituency office to get some of the requisite information sought for questions like this one,” he added.

According to Tibone, Reatile could have easily accessed a breakdown of financial assistance provided by Barclays Bank of Botswana to local entrepreneurs and businesses over the past five years in the sectors of agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, tourism, housing, construction and motor vehicles.

Besides, Tibone said, the MP could have easily obtained information from the mentioned avenues over money spent by the institution on corporate social investment over the same period in such sectors like HIV/AIDS, sport, destitute and environment instead of consulting the minister through a parliamentary question.

Tibone, however, revealed the aggregate amount of credit extended to local entrepreneurs and business by Barclays Bank of Botswana over the past five years to September 2009.

Agriculture, he said, accounted for P29, 3m while transportation and manufacturing obtained P558, 2m and 10,2m, respectively.

“Trade and tourism accounted for P212m; housing P1 865m while construction and motor vehicle loans got P21m and P1 096m, respectively,” he further revealed.

As for the cumulative amounts of money spent on social responsibility programmes by the same bank over the five year period, the assistant minister offered figures for the health related projects, which include HIV/AIDS, which accounted for P4, 4m while the education sector obtained P1, 8m.

The environment and community accounted for P430 662 and destitute programmes, P936 378, with sport P1, 534 million, said Tibone.

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