Opposition People’s Party (PP) Spokesperson on Finance Ralph Jooma has said Malawi economy will remain in reverse gear, saying domestic borrowing will continue to soar, which will cloud out private sector and interest rates will go up making it impossible for the sector to expand.
PP spokesperson on finance said 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.
He said in parliament contributing to the proposed budget delivered Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe.
Jooma said the Finance Minister needed to first pronounce what they delivered from the 2016/17 budget, saying the country is fed with rhetoric while indicators show there is worrying trend on economic growth.
“Good statements that never materialise into good work, good economic projections that never see the light of day, tax projections that never meet targets, budget allocations that are not adequately funded, and good development projects that stall at ground breaking point,” said Jooma
According to Jooma, in the 2015/16 budget, Gondwe projected that the economy would grow by seven percent but it only grew by three percent, and that the average inflation rate would be 16.4 percent but got worse to 21.8 percent, and that average exchange rate would be K400 to a dollar but it came out K730 to a dollar.
Jooma said the economic turmoil will continue because there is no recovery strategy.
He faulted government for not doing enough in this new budget to bring the economy on track.