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Alcohol Levy audit five years overdue

Alcohol Levy audit five years overdue
AUDIT OVERDUE: Alcohol levy audit is long overdue

Despite an independent auditor being appointed to audit the accounts of the Levy on Alcoholic Beverages five years ago, the process has still not been completed.

The Auditor General, Pulane Letebele has voiced her frustration at the lack of progress, noting an auditor was assigned the job back in 2016.

“At the time of writing this report, the auditors had indicated that they had not completed the audits due to matters that needed Management response,” she revealed in her report for the 2019/20 financial year.

Letebele indicated the auditors stated they have repeatedly engaged the Ministries of Health and Wellness and Finance and Economic Development with a view to conclude the audit. However, meeting with officials of the Ministries to finalize the audit has proved a challenge.

The levy was introduced in 2008 by the then President, Ian Khama as a way of declaring war on the culture of excessive drinking he believed was getting out of hand.

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The levy increased steadily over the years, peaking at 50 percent and 55 percent depending on the alcoholic content of the beverages.

Shortly after succeeding Khama in 2018, Mokgweetsi Masisi slashed the levy by 20 percent. .

The levy has become something of a thorny issue, with parliament also seeking answers on the levy.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Peggy Serame previously told parliament the reason why the Levy on alcoholic beverages was last audited so long ago was due to the limitation on the access of records.

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