The Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) is on a crusade to collect revenue.The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo said this recently in Parliament in his Consolidated and Development Funds Estimates 2019-2020 Committee of Supply Speech for Head for Both Recurrent and Development Estimates.
However, Matambo pointed out that collection of revenue had been under performing for the 10-month period from April 2018 to January 2019, showing an overall under performance of 11% as a result of Income Tax and Vat failing to meet targets.
“This under-performance is against the original targets, which were revised downwards to take into account some factors, which have a negative effect on tax revenue collection. These include the low global demand for diamonds experienced during the first half of 2018-2019, and the tough trading environment in the real estate and retail sectors,” he said.
Matambo added that some strategies have been put in place to turn around the negative performance and meet the target going forward. These include intensifying debt collection, strengthening the verification of refunds before payment, and collecting the outstanding withholds and value added tax from imported service from government projects.
Furthermore, he explained that BURS completed numerous projects, which include the upgrading of the pump stations, storage tanks and the pipeline that supplies water to Tlokweng Gate border post, refurbishment of staff
“During the 2019-2020 financial year, BURS will upgrade the sewerage system at Ramokgwebana border post, undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the Mamuno and Kazungula roads, Martins Drift and Ramatlabama Border posts; and construct the Integrated On-Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Pioneer Gate Border Post and additional staff houses at Kasane, Lobatse, Palapye, Martins Drift, Letlhakane and Maun,” Matambo added.
Additionally, the minister said in their quest to improve the quality of official statistics for evidence based and effective macroeconomic policy management, Statistics Botswana completed the Rebasing of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and National Accounts in December 2018. He said the rebased CPI and National Accounts would be released by end of March and December 2019, respectively. “Statistics Botswana will carry out the following consultancies and studies in financial year 2019-2020: Botswana Multi-Topic Survey; Cartographic Census Work operations, which started in October 2018 and will be completed in March 2020; and preparations for the 2021 Population and Housing Census,” he said.