The Malawi Institution of Engineers (MIE) has expressed disappointment with the 2015/16 budget which they deem as focusing more on consumption without the balance of industry and infrastructure development.
The engineers made the observation during an interaction dinner and cocktail held over the weekend at the Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe to discuss the budget and effects upon the construction industry.
“The budget did not tackle development issues. When we talk about development, we refer to infrastructure development which will mean a boom in the construction industry. About 75 percent is consultation and only 25 left of infrastructure development. The minister of finance gave reasons for that but we still have to register our concerns,” said MIE president Andrew Thawe.
He said without developing the construction industry the country will always lag behind because it will mean lack of production.
Thawe said they plan to present their views to various parliamentary committees prior to the passing of the bill by Parliament.
He said his institution was unfortunate to have missed out and did not attend the pre-budget consultative meetings which Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe conducted early this year to channel their contributions
National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) board chair Linda Phiri, who was guest of honour during the function, said looking at the situation in the country where donor aid is limited government was right to focus on consumption.
“The analysis is that construction and engineering industry has been left out. That might be true but we have to understand that we are coming from a difficult period. Cashgate has affected us badly and government is right to prioritise.
“But not all is lost, there are donor funded projects that target the construction industry. Apart from that there is the K7 billion which government allocated towards the disaster recovery projects. There will be a lot of activities. Subsidy for the housing projects is also another opportunity,” said Phiri.