Fuel levy to be increased

Government is considering increasing the fuel levy from 20thebe to P1. 00 in order to help theministry of transport and communications build quality roads across the country.

Speaking at  the tourism Pitso recently minister Nonofo Molefi said the country's roads are dilapidated because citizens are addicted to freebees and reluctant to pay for services. He said that the 20thebe per litre fuel levy annually accumulates to P110 million, which is a far cry from the P1 billion needed annually to maintain roads. Molefhi said his ministry operates on a low budget of P450 million, which is unable to meet the demands they face. "As you can see the money does not even come close to the required amount," he said adding that, there is need to “increase the roads levy to P1 to enable us to come up with quality roads.”

He pointed out that if the levy is increased they would be able to ensure that major roads are developed; inner rural roads are built and street power lines are erected all over the country. Molefhi said the ministry has no money to build bridges, resurrect the rail transport or develop water transport. “We are still considering how it can be changed, after that we will make proposals for the levy to be increased to Cabinet.” He said it is better to increase the levy now than wait for later when more damage would have been done. He said the country's main roads don’t even meet the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standards of carrying 9 tonnes load as they can only carry 6 tonnes. “Unfortunately Botswana is a transit hence there is need to raise funds that will help reconstruct the roads and enable activity in the economy.”

The ministry intends to set up an agency responsible for engaging companies to construct main roads across the country. “The country needs effective, reliable and affordable transport and telecommunications to meet the current demand.” The minister said revenue collected from the 11 weigh bridges in the country in 2012/13 financial years was P7.3 billion, all of which went o government's consolidated fund.

The expenditure excluding employees’ salaries was P84, 039 million. And the transport and communications sector contribution to GDP was 5.67 percent in 2012, which translates to P6, 230 billion.

Last modified on Friday, 08 November 2013 14:05

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