Parliament has announced the second meeting of the 48th Session from September 9 to October 11, which will convene to discuss the 2019/20 National Budget.
A press statement issued by the office of the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gottani Hara states that members of Parliament (MPs) should fulfil their mandate and attend the meeting.
Reads the statement in part: “The Office of the Speaker wishes to inform all Cabinet ministers, deputy, members of Parliament and the general public that the 2019/2020 budget meeting, which will be the second meeting of the 48th session of Parliament, will be held from Monday 9th September to 11th October 2019.”
The announcement comes amid growing political tension following Malawi Electoral Commission’s declaration of President Peter Mutharika as winner of the May 21 presidential election under Democratic Progressive Party ticket.
The last sitting of Parliament in June was marred with controversies, with Leader of Opposition only being named when the House was about to pass a provisional budget worth K511.3 billion.
The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) asked Treasury during the pre-budget consultative meetings to cut public debt and narrow the budget deficit if the country is to sustain economic gains.
As part of its input to the 2019/20 National Budget, Ecama also wants Treasury to maintain the prevailing macroeconomic stability in the next fiscal plan. Public debt has been increasing substantially over the past years and has reached unprecedented levels. Public debt, which comprises domestic and external debt, stood at around K3.3 trillion as of December 2018–twice the country’s 2018/19 revised national budget of K1.4 trillion.