The Mid-term Budget Review Statement, presented by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has been faulted by opposition People’s Party (PP) as lacking detail and “consumptive.”
In his statement, Gondwe said government has under-spent by 1.5 percent of the total expenditure of the targeted K365.7 billion by mid-year.
Gondwe also proposed a supplementary expenditure amounting to K32 billion( $64-million).
But PP’s spokesperson on financial matters Ralph Jooma said in parliament:“It is difficult to appreciate how we can approve figures that have been hidden from us.”
Jooma querried government for allocating Farm Input Subsidy Programme ( Fisp) vote an extra K10 billion to K60 billion while there’s no increase in other equally important items such as iron sheets and cement.
“ In September, government told us that the Fisp vote will be reduced because some items will be locally purchased,” he said.
Jooma also asked Finance Minister to explain “why and how the Malawi Police Service and the Accountant General’s office overspent by 156 percent and 60 percent respectively, in the past six months?”
He also asked Gondwe to provide a thorough breakdown of what is being borrowed and collected.
“Otherwise, we are being overambitious and we seem to base our optimism on the kwacha appreciation. We can’t continue having a national budget that is consumptive, government should not rejoice for under-spending because under-spending was only on development budget which is cause for worry than self-praise. We need to start creating wealth than spending money,” Jooma said.
The Finance Minister told the House that the implementation of the 2014/15 zero-aid budget had faced setbacks due to the under-collection of domestic resources and a lack of grants from donors.
Donors pulled aid out of Malawi following revelations that public resources had been pilfered in a corruption scandal known locally as “Cashgate.” Auditors claim the government lost close to $100 million as a result of the fraud.
Malawi was left with no choice but to craft a zero-aid budget for 2014/15.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :