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BMC exempted from tax

Parliament has passed the Income Tax amendment bill which will exempt Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) and other wholly owned government owned corporations.

Presenting the bill before parliament, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Kenneth Matambo said the amended was necessitated by concerns raised that there was a need to simplify laws relating to taxation policy as well as tax administration.

The intention of the amendment is to exempt BMC from taxation; however it also introduces a 4 percent tax on every livestock sold to any person, who is business; who buys cattle for slaughter or for feeding for slaughter.

The amended Act states that the income from sales of cattle to the BMC will be taxed like any other income in the hands of the recipients of such income and BMC will facilitate this by withholding tax whenever the BMC makes payments for the purchase of livestock.

The Act adds amounts paid for purchase of livestock to amounts that are subjected to withholding tax.

The Act also gives the Commissioner General the authority to make payments for refunds of over-paid income tax including interest. Refunds for income tax will be now processed by BURS without having to make a claim from the Consolidated Fund.

The Act further empowers the Commissioner General to apply any refund payable to any taxpayer towards the reduction of any tax, levy, interest or penalty payable by the taxpayer under any revenue law administered by Commissioner General.  

Part of the Act, hotly contested by the opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) is where the expenditure incurred in making donations to Government such health facilities and other eligible donations to qualify as deductible expenditure.

The Act further state that deductions for provision of health facilities would be allowed if such donations are recommended by the Ministry of Health. “Equally, other donations will need to be prescribed by the Minister responsible for finance upon recommendations by the relevant sectoral ministries,” explained Matambo.

The Act make a threshold that in each case, donations eligible for deductions should not be less than P1000 in value and should not exceed 20 percent of the aggregate chargeable income of the person making such a donation.

Opposition MPs opposed the part of the act as they were of the view that the act creates more problems than solutions. Dr Tlamelo Mmatli said the decision to exempt BMC from paying tax and introduction 4 percent taxation on farmers was unjustified. He contended that it was simply transferring the burden from BMC to the farmers. Mmatli’s position was shared by his colleagues in opposition bench.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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