The Public Service Reforms Commission says it is optimistic that in three months’ time some parastatals will be weaned from Treasury dependence to become financially self-reliant and start giving dividends to Capital Hill.
The commission, chaired by Vice-President Saulos Chilima, said this in a statement issued in Lilongwe yesterday after engaging parastatals based in the Northern and Central regions last week.
The commission said depending on the registered progress so far, it was highly likely that “parastatals that were in deficit and created financial burden on Treasury, will become financially independent and start declaring dividends to government as a result of these reforms”.
On some reforms success stories, the commission mentioned Airport Developments Limited (ADL) whose introduction of car park automation at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) has seen a 150 percent increase in fees collection.
The commission also highlighted the Northern Region Water Board (NRWB), saying its introduction of an enhanced leak detection system has managed to reduce non-revenue water (water lost through burst pipes) from 37 percent to 33 percent.
“This efficiency reform has led to reduced intermittent supply, increase in sales of water to customers, consequently increasing the revenue to the board than ever before. The commission will share the financial gains in subsequent press statements after reviewing the second quarter,” said the commission.
According to the statement, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) is also on course with its resource mobilisation drive as construction of a filling station and revitalisation of Bunda Farm are underway to ensure self-sustenance for the institution.
Further reads the commission’s statement: “Just as the commission has promised on independence, the reforms were meant to allow independence for the statutory corporations to devise new revenue streams as well as become completely depoliticised.
“Now that the parastatals are going commercial and independent from the central government involvement, there is hope that this will bring competitiveness in the operation of the organisations.”
Reforms in parastatals started last October after President Peter Mutharika approved areas of reform the organisations presented after engaging the commission and brainstorming on strategies to bring professionalism in the statutory corporations.