News Column

Provisional Budget for 2014/2015 Approved, Donor Silence

June 29, 2014

Evans Songwe

Provisional Budget of MK 210,178, 188, 689 billion has been approved Friday morning in the National Assembly catering for four months disregarding hiccups Government faced during consultations sidelining donor community.

Addressing the August House in Lilongwe, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Goodall Gondwe said that the preparation for this year's budget has been delayed because of shortage of time between the conclusion of Tripartite Elections and the time, June when the budget should have been ready.

"This is insufficient time for the government to undertake valued budgetary consultations with different stakeholders for their contributions to the budgeting process," said Gondwe.

He informed the Members of Parliament to take a particular care in preparing the budget in view of a difficult and confused financial situation that the country is currently facing.

Furthermore, Gondwe reiterated that the budget has been delayed due to prolonged discussions underway with the donor who have not yet indicated their final decision regarding their support to the budget.

"I have been discussing with the donors to support the budget but they have not yet indicated their final decision regarding their support to the budget. Malawi is on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic programme and it is required that before we finalize our budgetary framework we should discuss it with that institution which is in July," he said.

"Adding that a case in point is that the accumulation of unpaid bills (arrears) amounting to MK158.5 billion and a domestic debt stock of K340 billion a situation that has been left behind," he said.

The Malawi Congress Party spokesperson on the finance in the House Joseph Njovuyalema urged the government to work for the interests of the people considering the effects of donor withdraw of the budget and appealed to the government to neutralize the problems that will arise due to shortage of funding.

"Let us serve the interests of Malawians," Njovuyalema said.

Deliberations are suspended till Monday morning whereby the Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati will deliver a statement on activities of the ministry for the financial year 2014/2015.

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Source: AllAfrica

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