March 23, 2023


3 min read

Private sector pokes holes on budget allocations

Private sector pokes holes on budget allocations

PSFL CEO, Thabo Qhesi

Story highlights

    Customarily, expert opinion on the budget is enlisted after its presentation
    PSFL is concerned that government never implements recommendations made

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THE Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) has cast doubt on the recently presented budget allocations, accusing the government of devotedly failing to implement the recommendations made on the national budget by non-state actors.

Customarily, after the presentation of the national budget, the Parliament’s Economic Cluster enlists expert opinions on the budget from various relevant key stakeholders, expressly outside the government sphere.

The PSFL as one of such core actors always invited to poke holes in budget allocations and as well as make recommendations on how to implement some of the key programmes projected for the fiscal year.

“Our major concern as PSFL is that the recommendations made on a national budget have never been implemented by the government. A typical example is in the formulation of a national budget non-state actors should be invited to make inputs. It is because we realised that once the budget speech has been presented, it will be implemented as is,” PSFL Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Qhesi said this week.  

During budget execution by line ministries, the Economic Cluster hardly engaged non-state actors to express their views about periodic reports as per article 91 of the Public Service Regulations of 2008.

Qhesi said without periodic reports, it will be difficult to track progress, hence, the government ends up rewarding non-performers and the ghosts.

Such discourse, according to the PSFL, depicts that there is a need for regular engagements between Economic Cluster and non-state actors to track budget implementation.

The private sector boss further noted with concern that the proposed capital budget is M6.3 billion which is less than the previous allocation of M6.8 billion.

“This simply means that the economic growth of Lesotho will not grow faster than expected due to limited resources. This situation does compel the government to simplify and popularise legal frameworks relating to Public Private Partnerships. On that score, the government should build the capacity of its officials on Public Private Partnership initiatives,” he said.  

One critical issue which was not entirely clarified on the budget is the implementation of the Urban Planning Policy. “The PSFL would like to see designated areas for commercial, industrial, and residential in order to ease trade practices. Without proper urban planning, the country shall continue to see residential houses being built on arable land thereby compromising food security in the country.”

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For his part, the Secretary General of the Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Fako Hanyane has urged the government to put more focus on private sector growth as promised in the national budget. He said if the business environment could be improved in the areas of business registrations, business licensing, trade related law enforcement, mergers and acquisition approvals, then local business would definitely grow. “The leadership experience of the current government is portrayed in the belief to recalibrate institutional settings, governance, policies, expenditure and accountability frameworks to align with their private sector let’s growth mantra. “We therefore expect the budget to be approved and operationalised long before June, unlike in the previous eras,” he also said.

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