Analyst brands Malawi 2020/21 fiscal plan as ‘campaign budget’

Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha on Friday presented the K2.2 trillion 2020/21 financial blue print, which governance expert and commentator Makhumbo Munthali has described it as a campaign budget.

Minister of Finance arrives at Parliament with the  famed black box to present the national budget -Photo by Adack Pafupi, Mana

Malawi is going to polls on June 23  after both the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the May 21 2019 presidential election was marred by gross irregularities and further ordered a fresh election within 150 days of the February 3 ruling.

In his quick reaction to the budget statement,  Munthali said: “It’s certainly a campaign budget, and the last desperate attempt to woe voters after several failed attempts to stop the fresh elections.”

However, Munthali pointed out that the problem with campaign budgets is that they are not sustainable and often not feasible in as far as implementation is concerned.

“Because of that they become breading grounds for looting and abuse of resources. Furthermore, they run counter to already existing development frameworks such as MGS III,” he said.

In his budget statement with an admission that it will be tough to implement amid economic situation caused by the novel coronavirus, Mwanamvekha  disclosed that government will phase out the collection of spot fines for traffic offences and instead, it  is procuring Personal Digital Assistance devices that will be connected to government accounts and used to pay fines.

Among other things, the Treasury czar announced that  Chiefs will  now be allowed to purchase one duty free vehicle for every five years.

Government has also introduced medical insurance for chiefs from Sub Traditional Authority level.

He also announced that 100 000 vulnerable people, including elderly farmers and child-headed families will get free fertiliser and seeds.

Education gets lions share at K387. 9 billion representing 19.2 percent of the budget with Mwanamvekha insists government has completed constructing a water system at the controversial and yet-to-be constructed Mombera University, adding that so far, 7.2 kilometre stretch of a campus road network has been constructed at the site.

Mwanamvekha also said  t in an effort to empower women and the youth to participate in the country’s economic activities, government has increased the loan allocation to the Malawi Enterprise Development Fund to K15.0 billion.

“Out of this amount, K2.0 billion will be dedicated to be accessed by women and youth who have been directly affected by Covid-19.

Mwanamvekha said the fund is aimed at economically empowering and uplifting the lives of Malawians by providing them with high quality and sustainable microfinance services thereby reducing levels of unemployment through enhancement of entrepreneurship.

In fiscal plan, K27.3 billion has been allocated towards the procurement of medical drugs and supplies, of which K11.7 billion is for central hospitals and K15.6 billion is for district hospitals.

Radio and Television equipment now to be imported duty free to promote access to media.

The Minister also unveiled that income tax  free band is now at K50 000 from K45 000.

“Madam Speaker, the financial year 2020/2021 budget seeks to speed up economic recovery, infrastructure development and economic empowerment for the vast majority of our people, including the youth, women and the physically challenged.

“It further aims to ride on the macroeconomic stability so far achieved during the past three fiscal years and build a resilient economy capable of withstanding unforeseen shocks,” said Mwanamvekha.

A  national budget is a promise to the people.

The House has since adjourned until Monday when members will go into clusters to scrutinise the  budget votes.

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Jason Mlowoka
Jason Mlowoka
8 months ago

Some analysts talk just because a microphone has been shoved into their hands or a clueless reporter is standing in front of them with their useless unproductive questionnaire. Instead of being objective, for the good of the entire country, they become subjective. I was surprised this other day when certain brutes stood in front of the entrance to the purported Mombera university where you can see a road and the gate. They talked crap about the whole project. Who doesn’t know that before putting up anything, things like water system, electricity and a road network must be constructed first? Instead… Read more »

Jah
Jah
8 months ago

What do u expect????

Cairo
Cairo
8 months ago

People will never short of uttering something negative whenever it has come from either government side or opposition.Its a fact that there will always be someone or people will speak anything against what has been said or proposed to be done. Tinazolowera since the coming of multiparty democracy, nthawi ya MCP ai, inali, zonse mukambirane tigwirizana nazo.Hahahahahahahaah!

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
8 months ago

Yes it is, too late though.

Phwisa
Phwisa
8 months ago

The good thing is Malawi is in a democracy where even goats are allowed to be heard..

Neno
Neno
8 months ago

The Dpp government could have done this type of budget longtime ago and make it a reality on the ground.
But as of now it is too late for them,
We all know that it is part of your campaign just like you have been doing.
You even promised as that this country will be just like Singapore.

Jabir Jabir
Jabir Jabir
8 months ago

Shame on you Analyst. What the Government must do now?If it was opposition you wouldn’t say anything.This budget is for every Malawi Citizen including you.The Government’s doing this,you saying that.You criticising government that is doing nothing.Now, government made the budget you saying this is campaign…..Shame on you.

Moya
Moya
8 months ago

Why waste time with this budget? We simply needed a provisional one for a month or two then after elections come up with a real budget with sober minds since campaign will b out of the way then.

444444No
444444No
8 months ago

Tax Income free band should be 400,000 not 50 Kwacha
This campaign budget will not materialize.

vavlov
vavlov
8 months ago

Too late minister of finance. In less than a month you will be a common man, or MP that’s it. Even your belief in Vithumwa and Witchcraft won’t save your party from losing. The new government will deal with the budget. Yours is simply to fool Malawians. Why focus on chiefs, when there are many retirees, who were very senior in government who are being paid a pittance in their retirement. You are a fool of note, idiot!

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