Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe says Malawi still needs development partners to support the development budget.
But Gondwe said the country should start funding its recurrent transactions using domestic revenue.
The minister’s statement comes at a time when several commentators have also argued that Malawi is yet to stand on its own economically.
Speaking during the second pre-budget consultation meeting for the 2016/17 National Budget in Lilongwe yesterday, Gondwe also asked Malawians to have a spirit of hard work if the country is to advance.
He said: “We should strive to be self-reliant and finance the recurrent expenditure using local taxes. If our resources are to be used prudently, controlling officers must also prioritise areas that can make a huge difference to the masses and not just for individuals.”
Donors have been withholding direct budgetary support to Malawi since October 2013 after concerns over revelations of Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
In his contribution, Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Dalitso Kubalasa said realism in performance evaluation of the budget is critical if the country is to progress.
He also said agriculture should be given the necessary support, especially by fast-tracking the adoption of irrigation to enhance productivity and efficiency.
O n his part , Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said fiscal policy choices such as the 2016/17 National Budget should be formulated in such a way that it addresses challenges faced by the business community, farmers as well as the private sector.
He observed that one other key challenge facing the economy is that the structure of the economy has almost remained stagnant over the years with a manufacturing sector not doing well despite that manufacturing entities are the most sustainable sources of taxes for government.
Pre-budget consultations are held annually to enable government get input from a cross-section of Malawians on what they need to be included in the national budget.