Member of Parliament for Chitipa South Werani Chilenga (People’s Party-PP) asked Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe to explain how allocations were made to some ministries and departments.
Making his contribution to the national budget, Chilenga wondered why the Finance Minister did not allocate money to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development for water retention programme and yet allocated K600 million (about $867 000) to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) for the rehabilitation of dams and irrigation schemes.
“One wonders why Green Belt Initiative is under OPC instead of Ministry of Agriculture which has expertise to deal with water issues through the Department of Water Development,” he said.
The MP also wondered why government was still funding Greenbelt Initiative (GBI) which has now been registered as a company “as if OPC is now running businesses”.
Commenting on the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, Chilenga asked Gondwe to explain why government has ring-fenced K290 million (about $419 000) out of the budget for the ministry for VVIP activities.
He also wanted government to explain why it has set aside K100 million (about $144 000) for the procurement of a VVIP podium.
“I thought these are public event activities and are supposed to be covered by OPC?” he wondered.
Chilenga also questioned the wisdom of giving Civil Aviation a target of K3.6 billion collection this year against a funding of K143 million.
The MP also challenged the Finance Minister to explain to Malawians why road tax fund money was being paid to Account Number One, saying to his understanding, the money was suppose to be put in a Roads Fund account.
He further claimed that in the 2015/2016 financial year, about K4 billion collected in road taxes was put into Account Number One, instead of being used as road tax fund.
Several members of Parliament made their contributions to the budget. n