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Government must prioritise - Matambo

Nov '09
The government has been advised not to commit itself on implementing national development projects that are not priority when the country does not have enough funds to finance such projects.

Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo said in an interview that the government should monitor the situation to make sure it does not commit itself.

Mr Matambo said it is necessary to finance projects that are essential and put on hold those that are not a priority adding that there is a tendency within the government of adopting every project proposal into the national development plan.

According to Mr Matambo, it would not be necessary to request ministries to cut down as well as to prioritise their proposed projects if the government could just refrain from accepting too much even though it does not have the capacity.

He said that during the revision of NDP 10, his ministry shall request the ministries to cut off projects, which are not priority because they can always bring them back if there are funds.

Mr Matambo stated that the country does not have funds and has borrowed funds from development banks for the current financial year and has also tapped on the foreign reserves but there are limits therefore it is necessary for the government not to over commit itself.

According to Mr Matambo Botswana should expect another deficit in the 2010/2011 financial year even though it will be less than the current P13.5 billion because recession takes a short time to take place but recovery is too slow.

He said Botswana has also felt the negative impact of the global economic crisis, which hit the world late last year adding that the hardest hit was the mining sector especially diamond sales, textile sector and the government.

Furthermore, Mr Matambo said despite recession there is economic improvement in most of the sectors because sales are beginning to rise and production is taking place in mining and agricultural sector including tourism.

Botswana tourism he further said is hopeful that the 2010 FIFA World Cup will have some spill overs, which will benefit the tourism sector because the country has invested heavily on stadiums and hotels.

He added that currently there are projections that the world economy will grow by three per cent in 2010 while the Sub-Saharan Africa will see a significant growth of six per cent by 2010.

The Government of Botswana

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