Members of Parliament (MPs) are scheduled to meet for eight weeks from May 20 to debate the 2016/17 National Budget which Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodal Gondwe is expected to present.
National Assembly principal public relations officer Leonard Mengezi said in an interview on Sunday MPs are expected to debate the national budget from May 20 to July 8 2016.
However, he said the Business Committee of Parliament was yet to convene to come up with detailed business of the meeting and other matters to be tabled in the House besides the national budget.
Said Mengezi: “The date has just been set, but the rest of details will be known once the Business Committee meets. As to when the committee will meet, I am not sure but I know that should be before May 20, but perhaps for other finer details you can talk to the leader of the House [Francis Kasaila] on what government intends to do.”
While briefly confirming the development, Kasaila said he could not comment further as he was at a funeral ceremony.
However, expectations are high that government would this time table the final draft of the controversial and much-awaited Access to Information (ATI) Bill.
There are also several bills which were carried forward from the previous meeting expected to be re-tabled together with ministerial statements.
As per tradition, President Peter Mutharika is expected to open the deliberations on the first day by presenting the State of the Nation Address (Sona). n