Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has raised the proposed 2015/16 National Budget from K901.6 billion to K930 billion (US$2.1 billion) to meet increasing demands in the education sector and the Judiciary.
According to the changes, the Ministry of Education will have an extra K5 billion, public universities will have additional K3 billion (US$6.7 million) after changing Finance Minister changed mind on the withdrawal of allowances to students.
Gondwe has allocated the Judiciary additional K1.5 billion (US$3.3 million).
“Mr. Speaker, Sir, notwithstanding the revision of the budget to K930 billion, I wish to emphasise that some of the expenditures on this budget will only take place when the resources to meet them become available. This is necessary to ensure that we have a balanced budget that meets the requirements of our programme with the IMF,” Gondwe told parliament.
The Finance Minister received a unanimous approval from Members of Parliament (MPs) when they loudly clapped hands when he announced a K3 million increase to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to reach K12 million (US$26 667).
However, the MPs ignored the corresponding decrease to the Local Development Fund (LDF).
“It is also proposed that we reduce Vote 272 – Local Development Fund by K0.6 billion so as to increase the Constituency Development Fund from K9 million per constituency to K12 million per constituency,” Gondwe said.
In his revised budget, Ministry of Health has had its allocation increased with K6 billion.
Proposed budget to Ministry of Home Affairs has been increased by K1.5 billion while the Malawi Police Service will receive an additional K2.8 billion (US$6.2 million) on top of the proposed K21.5 billion (US$6.2 million) to procure equipment for combating crime.
National Registration Bureau has had its allocation increased with K1.5 billion (US$3.3 million) after the initial K155 million (US$344 444) allocation.
“As a result of these modifications, we would propose that the budget be increased from K901 billion to K930 billion,” Gondwe said.
Parliament is now on the Committee of Supply where MPs pass vote by vote of the national budget before passing the Appropriation Bill authorising government to spend.
The new financial year starts on July 1.
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