Financial Policy Sub-Division
The Financial Policy Sub-Division executes its mandate through the Tax Policy Section, the Finance & Banking Section and the Insurance & Pension Section.
a). Tax Policy Section
The Tax Policy Section is responsible for formulation of taxation policies and reviewing of both direct and indirect tax legislation. The Section is also responsible for negotiating double taxation avoidance agreements to counter tax evasion and to avoid double taxation of income. Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements also help to attract foreign direct investment. The Section undertakes research and revenue forecasting in order to advise fiscal policy makers. The Section generally gives technical advice on taxation issues to the Minister responsible for finance in the execution of powers vested in him under the country’s tax law. The Section also advises the Government as a whole when any Ministry enters into bilateral agreements with governments of other countries. Further, the Tax Policy Section currently serves as Secretariat for the Taxation Review Committee – which reviews taxation laws and the Board of Adjudicators – which hears appeals from taxpayers who are aggrieved by decisions made on their objections to their assessments by the Botswana Unified Revenue Service.
Furthermore, the Section serves as the Secretariat for SACU activities at national level to liaise with other government departments and organizations as well as the SACU Secretariat in Namibia. It ensures ratification of trade agreements related to customs. It also ensures that all amendments to the Tariff Book are laid before the National Assembly. The Section also liaises with the Attorney General’s Chambers regarding changes to the customs tariff in accordance with the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement.
b). Finance and Banking Section
This section is made up of the Banking and the Finance Units.
The main function of the Banking Unit is to formulate and review legislation/regulations governing different non-bank financial institutions in order to incorporate new developments in the financial sector. The Unit is also responsible for overseeing the development of capital markets in Botswana. It also deals with matters relating to money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism. It liaises with Bank of Botswana on regular basis concerning Finance and Banking issues in general. The Unit also monitors the operations of the National Development Bank, Botswana Building Society and Botswana Savings Bank, Botswana Stock Exchange, Public Procurement & Asset disposal Board and Botswana Investment Trade Centre.
The main function of the Finance Unit is to administer the Government Motor Vehicle and Residential Property Advanced Scheme (GEMVAS). This involves checking the relevant documentation; approval or otherwise and the recommendation to the bank for the disbursement of funds. Unit is also responsible for identifying the defaulters and making some follow-ups.
c). Insurance and Pension Section
This Section is made up of the Insurance and the Pension Units.
The Insurance and Pension Section is responsible for providing guidance on policy issues affecting insurance and pension; advising all Ministries and parastatal organisations on insurance and pension matters; for reviewing and recommending amendments to the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority Act and Regulations and all financial services laws that apply to insurance and pension and to ensure the drafting of new legislation and amendments of existing legislation on insurance and pension. The Section is also involved in consumer awareness in insurance and pension matters.