A quest to run the government by black ink in Botswana in 2012 and beyond
Botswana, like the rest of primary product-dependent economies, saw her revenues declining in mid 2008 due to the onset of the global financial and economic crises. Due to reduced revenues, the economy has posted budget deficits since the 2008/09 financial year. The fiscal challenges forced the government to undertake a Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Performance assessment in 2009 to ensure fiscal prudence. After the assessment, the government introduced a Public Finance Management Reform programme that begot a Budget Strategy Paper that advised the preparation of the 2011/12 Budget Speech and budget. In addition, when the Finance Minister read the 2011/12 Budget Speech, he announced that the government intended to adopt a black ink in 2012 and beyond, that is, balance the budget in 2012 and post surpluses afterward. Is this objective deliverable? Yes, however, running the government by black ink will largely demand political leadership, a sturdy resolve to resist populist spending and speeding up of expenditure reforms.
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