Atupele lays out Malawi Govt economic recovery plan

Minister of Economic Planning and Development,  Atupele Muluzi, has laid out Malawi government’s ambitious short-term economic recovery plan, saying the Joyce Banda administration will cut expenditure.

President Banda inherited sluggish economy from the late president Bingu WA Mutharika’s administration.

Addressing the media in the capital, Lilongwe, Muluzi disclosed that the economic blue-print entails that Capital Hill will focus on five critical areas of development t o enerate economic growth .

“Government has embarked on the formulation of the economic recovery plan to increase efforts within the national budget and the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy. The plan sits on three legs which are immediate, medium and long term solutions,” Muluzi said.

Atupele: Spells out economic recovery plan by government.

He said the  five areas include Agriculture; Transport; Energy and Mining; Tourism and Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

“We will put more effort in scaling up agricultural production, improving the transport sector, promoting tourism and enhancing provision of ICT services,” Muluzi said.

Positive measures

Muluzi said Cabinet has agreed  to bring down the exchange rate to one digit, reducing the banking interest rates to allow access by all Malawians, improving forex reserves and stabilizing fuel situations.

In the agricultural sector, the minister said government would continue with the farm subsidy programme and ensure that 1.7million farming families benefit from the programme.

Muluzi also said government would continue with the implementation of the social cash transfer and village loan programme as a way of empowering the rural communities.

He said: “The vision of the government is poverty eradication through community development and wealth creation.”

To ensure accountability and effectiveness of the economic recovery plan which is being championed by President Banda and coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, the minister said they would enhance its monitoring and evaluation systems.

Fuel price stabilisation

Commenting on the recent fuel price adjustments which have hit hard on the lives of the rural poor, Muluzi said government is working on possible measures that would help in stabilizing the fuel crisis.

“Fuel is another area which if not properly looked at could wipe out our economy. I should take this chance and announce here that policies regarding fuel are subject to review,” he explained.

On his part, Minister of Information, Moses Kunkuyu said government has already started exercising fiscal discipline in stabilizing the country’s economy by among other things stopping using the presidential jet for presidential trips.

“Let me tell Malawians that the president stopped using the Jet for her travels. Since then, we have managed to serve Mk 3mIllion which can now be used for other government programmes,”Kunkuyu said assuring Malawians that government was also looking into the issue of selling some of the vehicles as one way of reducing expenditures.

The Economic Recovery Plan is part of the reforms aimed at stabilizing the economy and cautions Malawians from the effects of recent devaluation of the kwacha. If fully implemented, the assumption by the ministry is that the economy could stabilize within a period of 18 months depending how the market behaves.

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