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Parliament approves NDP 11 mid-term review draft

The National Assembly on September 9  approved the draft mid-term review of the eleventh National Development Plan (NDP 11) that had been presented to the house by Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka. 

Various cabinet ministers representing the different thematic working groups of NDP 11 had also spent the past two weeks presenting submissions relating to their sectors and after rigorous debate by MPs, the draft was passed by Parliament.

Dr Matsheka explained that the NDP 11 review consisted of nine chapters, the first three of which, termed the Microeconomic Chapters and Principles give an overview of the economic performance of the first half of the plan and projected resources available for the rest of NDP 11.

The other chapters focus on various themes, classified under different thematic working groups: the Economy and Employment, Social Upliftment, Conserving Natural Resources, Governance, Peace and Security as well as Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Matsheka said.

The head of the national treasury, who is also the Lobatse legislator sounded a word of appreciation to his fellow legislators for their input in the NDP review thematic debate.

In response to some of suggestions raised by MPs, Dr Matsheka said government would continue to develop plans to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and promote economic recovery. 

He also said government would continue to work on improving tax revenue generation capacity.

Noting that there had been a suggestion for the Bank of Botswana (BoB) to come up with a strategy to encourage commercial banks to provide services in villages and remote areas, Dr Matsheka said government did not dictate to private banking institutions on operational matters, but continuously engaged them through BoB.

He added that through the provision of public infrastructure and services, and appropriate regulatory environment, banks could be encouraged to set up branches in rural areas.

“Government agrees on the need to continuously explore innovative, prudent and sustainable ways to broaden and deepen access to financial services by all citizens. This includes creating a conducive environment for private banking institutions and other financial services providers to establish a presence in all areas of Botswana,” Dr Matsheka said.

He further noted the call by MPs for government to work on various initiatives to create employment and boost the informal sector and that the urgent need for food security and self-sufficiency had been highlighted.

The need to encourage domestic tourism; decentralisation of some services; addressing human-wildlife conflict; deliberate plans to mitigate against drought since Botswana was prone to climate change as well as the integration of information communication technology (ICT) in learning were some of the pertinent issues raised by MPs, Dr Matsheka noted.

He said such ideas, some of which tallied with the transformative agenda of the NDP 11 review, would be considered as the final draft would be refined and finalised.

 

Dr Matsheka said improving efficiency of government spending, as highlighted by the NDP 11 review was of paramount importance in engineering the recovery and transformation of the economy. BOPA

Source : BOPA

Author : Pako Lebanna

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : Sep 10 Thu,2020

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