Officials from the Ministry of Finance were on Tuesday tossed from one parliamentary committee to another and finally sent back to prepare well in a new system of scrutinising and vetting the national budget which, it seems, both the parliamentarians and government officials do not understand.
Budget and Finance Committee chairperson Rhino Chiphiko (MCP) said his committee sent back the officials from the ministry of finance after they appeared before it in a cluster system, a new system of scrutinising and vetting the national budget copied from Uganda.
In the new system, heads of government ministries and departments will be meeting parliamentary committees separately where the legislators will be asking the officials, among others, how they came up with the budget figure for the department, how they used money for the previous budget.
“They came unprepared. They just came with figures which they failed to explain and we have sent them back. We told them to prepare well and come back on Thursday next week,” said Chiphiko of the treasury officials.
Officials from the Legal Affairs Committee also said they had sent back the ministry of Finance officials because they seemed not to know what to do.
“They are failing to make a proper analysis of last year’s figures, they are not serious,” said Alexander Kusamba Mwale (MCP) one of the parliamentary cluster leaders.
He said there was need to drill both parliamentarians and the government officials on how the new system of scrutinising the budget works.
Mwale said it seems the government officials are failing to defend the budget because it was drafted by the IMF.
On Monday, the parliamentarians failed to start scrutinising the K1.1 trillion national budget which Finance minister Goodall Gondwe presented the 193 strong House on Friday because the government failed to print and distribute relevant documents.
President Peter Mutharika warned the opposition members of parliament against sabotaging the budget describing it as the best ever.
Meanwhile, government wants to buy eight new vehicles on the President Peter Mutharika’s motorcade in the budget vote for State House.
Lawford Palani, deputy director general of State House told cluster committee that out of the K5.3 billion budget vote for the State Residences, they will buy new eight vehicles on presidential convoy.
He said some of the vehicles on presidential motorcade have worn out since they were procured in 2005.
Palani said the new vehicles will be “replacement” of the fleet that has aged.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :