Opposition political parties represented in Parliament have said there is no sign that the country’s economy is on the rebound after finance Minister’s failure in his Mid- year Budget Review Statement to outline specific issues that would lead to economic recovery.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, who is also Leader of Opposition in Parliament, described the minister’s statement as not a true reflection of what is currently on the ground.
He said there is no indication suggesting that the economy is bouncing back sooner.
Said Chakwera: “This is not the first time the Minister of Finance has talked about economic rebound, how could you talk about a rebound when you have a private sector that in six months has been the worst affected because government is failing to give them back the money it owes them?”
He pointed out that he was glad that the minister has now come to his senses as in his statement he mentioned that: “We must be consciously optimistic on how the tax payers’ money is used”, saying maybe the minister has learnt a thing or two in the past year.
On the K20 billion drop from the national budget, Chakwera said although this sounds as good news, this was the money the development partners promised to help.
“It is not a surprise that the money did not come through because this government is still not trustworthy because when you look at corruption and fraud that is taking place in the country, no donor can have the audacity to invest in the country. And my assessment is that we are not out of the woods yet,” he said.
Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament chairperson Rhino Chiphiko advised the government that it is only cutting of expenditure and borrowing that can help the country’s economy to rebound.
In his response, People’s Party spokesperson on finance Ralph Jooma said the minister did not explain the important projects government has implemented since the passing of the budget. n