Wednesday, October 20, 2021

We have to keep abreast with changing financial systems – Sekwakwa

Government has acknowledged the view of the Banking Act as a result of new regulatory challenges emerging because of the changing nature of domestic and international financial systems.  

The Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Solomon Sekwakwa, stated that there was the need to keep the Act abreast with recent issues. 

He added that it was not easy to state the time frame given the number of stakeholders and the complexity of issues involved. 

Sekwakwa said that time was required to prepare the draft legislation and it may take longer than anticipated. 

“The process can take approximately four years to be concluded. The current Banking Act was promulgated in 1995 and new regulatory challenges have emerged,” he stated.

Sekwakwa also said that as with any piece of government legislation there were processes to follow. He said the Ministry in consultation with Bank of Botswana motivates in what way the existing legislation is unsatisfactory, and sends the motivation to Cabinet for approval. 

He added that this involved a lot of research as well as compliance with international standards. 

He explained that if Cabinet approved, a layman’s draft is produced and submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers. Sekwakwa stated that the drafters at the Chambers then convert the layman’s draft into proper legislative format.

He added that after several such drafts which are scrutinised by the Ministry and Bank of Botswana, the draft Bill is then submitted to Cabinet for approval. 

Sekwakwa says following approval, the draft Bill is published and submitted to Parliament, 30 days after publication in the government Gazette. 

“Should Parliament approve the Bill, it is then assented into law by His Excellency the President and further published as an Act. Publication in the Gazette gives the public the opportunity to view and comment on the Bill,” he added.

Sekwakwa further explained that, there was a need to comply with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, which is an international Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper