Opposition People’s Party (PP) Spokesperson on Finance Ralph Jooma has said Malawians should brace themselves for tougher economic times ahead, saying there will be no miracle for the healing of a limping economy, according to 2016/17 National Budget statement presented to parliament.
Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe on Friday tabled in Parliament the K1.2 trillion 2016/17 National Budget.
Jooma said the economic turmoil will continue because there is no recovery strategy.
“We should not expect any miracle to turn around the country’s economy as domestic borrowing will continue to soar, which will cloud out private sector and this will mean interest rates will go up making it impossible for the sector to expand,” said Jooma.
“This also means they [private sector players] will be forced to borrow more money from commercial banks where interest rates are already too high,” he added.
The PP leader in Parliament Uladi Mussa also commented that this year’s budget clearly means there will be a decline of social services, such as lack of medicines in hospitals while education standards will also continue to be poor.
But Finance Minister Gondwe claimed there will be growth of GDP projected at 5.1 percent in 2016 from 3.1 percent in 2015.
Gondwe’s financial plan is centered around the four priorities of increasing domestic resource mobilisation, food purchasing and irrigation farming, maintaining the wage bill to below seven percent and commitment to predictably finance key social sectors such as health and education.
“Malawi is now at a point where critical decisions have to be made, not just by the Government but by all Malawians,” said Gondwe.
He continued: “The future of our country is entirely in our hands. That future demands of us to think carefully about what role each one of us is playing to change our fate, as individuals, institutions and a people.”
Gondwe said “ a change in the mind-set” for Malawians is necessary now, more so than ever before.
“ Unless that change occurs sooner rather than later, Malawi will not be able to cope with the bigger challenges that lie ahead, including the enormous challenge of a fast growing population,” said Gondwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :