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Gov’t claims poverty

By Thoboloko Ntšonyane

MASERU – The government’s financial woes are continuing to mount, as its financial status gets worrisome, Informative Newspaper can reveal.

The office of the Government Secretary has written a circular to the chief officers to ensure that there be stringent measures to contain expenditure.

“Due to increasing expenditure pressures and not realizing revenue as expected, the Government must put measures that will contain expenditure to levels that are aligned with available resources. It is also critical to eliminate wastage and leakages of revenue.

“The Ministry of Finance will continue to issue monthly warrants only for wages and salaries and as well as essential and critical expenditure in line with the approved Procurement and Cash Plans plus availability of funds,” reads the circular.

It further warns the Ministries to engage in “careful, necessary spending and on service that the Ministries cannot operate without”.

The Chief Accounting Officers have been instructed to curtail international trips, furniture, and large maintenance, subsistence allowances, filling of new and vacant positions, and also ensure that fully funded trips will not attract 10 or 25 percent per diem.

The other proposed stringent measures are that the government vehicles must not fuel more than once a week save for those of the VVIPs.

Last month, the Accountant-General (AG) ‘Malehlohonolo Mahase cautioned that the government should adopt stringent measures in order to curb unnecessary expenditure.

She said the country has to avoid a situation in which the government’s commitments surpass the revenue generated, saying that will plunge the economy into a liquidity crisis.

Then the recovery plan that AG proposes was that the collecting Ministries should maximize their collections.