Opposition political parties’ spokespersons on finance in Parliament are this afternoon responding to the K2.2 trillion 2020/21 budget statement as presented two weeks ago by Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu.
Main opposition Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) spokesperson on Finance, Joseph Mwanamvekha, who is the former Minister of Finance has described the budget as heavily consumption and private sector unfriendly.
Mwanamvekha says the budget is a total loss to Malawians as all election campaign promises have not been incorporated in the budget.
He said the budget has not included Covid-19 risk allowances for service providers such as healthcare workers, and teachers among others.
On the economy, Mwanamvekha described the assumptions on stable exchange rate as unrealistic given now that companies are scaling down operations due to the shortage of forex. He advised the government to tighten exchange rate policy to ensure that the policy rate assumption projected at 13.5 percent in the budget is attained.
Mwanamvekha said the budget spells doom for Malawians as the one million jobs promise will not be attained within the current budget because there is no any spelt out plan for job creation which could include industrialisation and infrastructure development among others.
He expressed concern on the rising debt stock levels through the huge budget deficit at K754.8 billion which will be financed through borrowing.The budget and finance committee of parliament is advising the government to consider reallocation of budget resources to productive sectors in order for the country to recover from Covid-19 and grow the economy.
Meanwhile, the budget and finance committee of Parliament has advised the government to consider reallocation of budget resources to productive sectors in order for the country to recover from Covid-19 and grow the economy.
The Committee’s chairperson Gladys Ganda was presenting a statement reacting to the 2020/21 national budget as presented by the Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu two weeks ago in Parliament.
Ganda noted that the 2020/21 national budget has minimal locally financed allocation pegged at K100.9 billion while K410.3 billion is from foreign financed projects.
On this, she said it is clear that the budget is counterproductive because it has huge leaning on foreign financed projects as opposed to having significant locally financed allocation.
Ganda called for more investment into social protection programs that will build resilience amongst the least income earners with the view to reduce economic Inequalities between the rich and the poor.
She also described the budget as based on unrealistic assumptions that will be hard to attain given the impact of Covid-19 which is significantly slowing down the economy.
She said the former DPP regime passed on a healthy and stable economy to the Tonse Alliance government which needed to be sustained without struggles.