Over P2 billion collected by December 2017
Levy now stands at 55%
Seven months after assuming state power former President Ian Khama announced that government was going to introduce alcohol levy. This was initially taken as a joke by industry players including the then Minister of Trade and Industry Neo Moroka only to realise later that the country’s fourth president was dead serious.
Since its introduction there have been complaints that it was not used for its intended purpose and this was attributed to lack of operational rules in place, no policies – neither for its establishment nor for its management.
On Friday acting Minister of Health and Wellness Biggie Butale informed parliament that 80% of the alcohol levy goes to the Consolidated Funds and becomes part of annual budget.
Butale informed Parliament that as of December 2017 over P2 billion has been collected since the inception of alcohol levy in 2008.
“Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) charges a 6% collection fees. The alcohol levy was introduced in November 2008 at 30% and it now stands at 55%,” said Butale.
Regarding the management of the levy Butale informed Parliament that the fund is guided by the Levy on alcoholic beverages Fund (amendment) Order 2010 – which was promulgated two years after the levy was introduced.
Butale said the Alcohol Levy Fund was managed by Ministry of Health in 2010 when Ministry of Trade and Industry transferred over P133 million to Consolidated Funds. His ministry, he said, only receives 10% which they use for the anti-alcohol campaign.
The other 10%, according to the acting Minister, goes to Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender and 80% goes to the Government Consolidated Funds.
As of February this year government ministries benefited over P800 million with ministry Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development getting the lion share of P458 436 644.93 followed by Ministry of Education with over P17 million.
As of February this year, Butale said his ministry received over P1 billion in Alcohol Levy Funds. “The total expenditure is P986 496 686.38 and is as follows P139 676 862.36 for administration, P804 191 091.56 on government beneficiaries and P42 628 732.46 on Non-Governmental Organisations,” he revealed.
The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development got the lion’s share of P458 436 644.93 followed by Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public administration with P35 million and Central Medical Stores for purchasing of drugs with P30 million. Regarding Non-Governmental Organisations they were allocated P42 628 732.46 with Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO) being the biggest beneficiary receiving P5 428 500.00 followed by BOSASNet with P5 370 792.81.