The Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam), an umbrella body of local entrepreneurs, feels sidelined in the formulation of the Malawi Economic Recovery Plan (Merp) which was launched on Friday.
Mulli Brothers Holding managing director Leston Mulli wished if government had consulted local entrepreneurs before coming up with Merp.
â€œSidelining local entrepreneurs in governmentâ€™s efforts to bring back the economy on track is a non-starter because we have been running businesses in the country for many years and we know the causes of the countryâ€™s economic challenges,â€ he said.
Mulli, who feel government is favouring foreign investors at the expense of local businesses, said Malawi needs â€œa lot of ground breaking to stabilise the economyâ€.
He said currently businesses continue to be strangled by the shortage of forex, erratic fuel supplies and high lending rates which pose a challenge to the recovery plan.
â€œApart from the fact that there is no engagement of local businesspeople who know all corners of the economy, how can the recovery plan work without tangible strategies?â€ queried Mulli.
He added that continuous blackouts and unreliable water supply are likely to antagonise government recovery plan.
Finance Minister Dr Ken Lipenga declined to comment on Mulliâ€™s remarks, referring the reporter to Minister of Economic Planning and Development Atupele Muluzi who could not be reached as we went to press on Monday.
But during the launch of the plan, Muluzi called upon all Malawians to own the plan.
But when he launched the plan, Vice-President Khumbo Kachali said government consulted widely to come up with the document and incorporated recommendation from the conference on the national dialogue on the economy that took place in Mangochi from June 28 to July 1 2012.
Kachali also said implementation of the plan will involve all stakeholders including the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, civil society organisations, private sector and the public.
â€œAs a nation, we need to work together, move forward and never look back. This is a noble war we must fight together,â€ he said.