Malawi Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe has said government has started the process of establishing a National Planning Commission “in order to ensure effective economic planning” for the country.
Gondwe disclosed this when he delivered his 2015/15 national budget statement in Parliament on Friday afternoon in the capital Lilongwe.
The Finance Minister told the House that the new body will act as an independent think-tank for matters of national development.
He said the National Planning Commission will be established by an Act of Parliament.
“The Commission will be led by highly qualified professionals with strong background on development-related fields and the capacity to coordinate sectoral activities,” said Gondwe.
“Inevitably some of its work will be performed by consultants or outsources to other relevant international policy research institutions,” he pointed out.
Gondwe said government has already developed the Commission’s organisational structure and is now consulting various stakeholders further.
“We are hopeful that, in the course if the 2015/16 financial year this institution will be established so that it can play a leading role in the formulation of the country’s next development strategy,” said Gondwe.
The country’s purse keeper said the Peter Mutharika administration is committed to ensure that the Planning Commission “becomes independent of the government, yet effective in influencing the direction of the national agenda.”
He said: “Mr Speaker, Sir, studies have shown that there are financing gaps in Malawi, particularly in infrastructure and small-scale agricultural development. As a result, the government has been exploring ways of closing this gap in a sustainable basis.”
The key features of the 2015/16 budget are the lack of budgetary support and lower revenues and grants due to a decrease in donor support.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :