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Parliament approves P300m more for Chema Chema Fund

29 Feb 2024

Parliament has approved an additional P300 million for the proposed Chema Chema Fund.

Presenting her ministry’s 2024/2025 proposed budget, Minister of Finance, Ms Peggy Serame proposed an additional provision to the fund over and above the proposed budget request under the development budget.

She said the amount was in addition to the initial proposed capital injection of P200 million that would be sourced from the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

She said consultations with relevant stakeholders had been completed and that the informal sector guidelines were being finalised for the coming financial year.

Minister Serame thus requested for the approval of over P1.3 billion and more than P2.9 billion for the development and recurrent budgets respectively under the Ministry of Finance.

She said the proposed development budget represented an increase of P725 million or 109 per cent compared to the P664 million for the 2023/2024 financial year.

The increase, she said, was due to funds required to restructure the National Development Bank (NDB) to the tune of P500 million with a further P300 million required to implement the Temo Letlotlo programme as part of government’s decision to transform NDB into an agricultural bank.

With respect to the recurrent budget proposal, Minister Serame said the biggest share of the budget amounting to P1.7 billion or nearly 59 per cent was allocated to tertiary education financing.

Furthermore, Ms Serame highlighted that the Ministry of Finance continued to formulate, coordinate and implement economic policies as well as ensuring sound management of public finances.

In addition, she said her ministry would improve the monitoring of public funds by ministries, departments and agencies in order to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of government expenditure.

She said maximising the efficiency of major infrastructure projects in strategic economic sectors was crucial for advancing the government’s development agenda through the public investment management imperative.

She added that her ministry was upgrading the development projects monitoring system and that it was expected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2024/2025.

“To address the inadequate capacity in project implementation at key line ministries and implementing agencies responsible for strategic infrastructure projects, the Ministry of Finance will collaborate with the National Planning Commission (NPC) during the financial year 2024/2025,”she said.

Minister Serame said the new national financial inclusion roadmap and strategy had been developed in line with the SADC strategy on financial inclusion and micro, small and medium enterprises access to finance. She added that the roadmap and strategy would be launched in the first quarter of 2024/2025.

Members of Parliament commended the ministry for having faith in small scale enterprises.

Legislators, however,  pleaded with the ministry to simplify the  fund guidelines in order to make it attractive and applicable to small entrepreneurs. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : parliament

Date : 29 Feb 2024