Economic watchdog MEJN wants accountability in national budget

The Malawi Economic Justice Network (MEJN) wants government to develop and implement a pro-poor budget that should accommodate public views and urged the public sector to be transparent and accountable during the implementing stage of the national budget.

Mejn regional coordinator for the South, Mike Melvin Banda, speaking in Mwanza said a recent study conducted by his organisation revealed that there were many challenges in the way the previous national budgets were executed especially at grassroots level.

Malawi Finance Minister Lipenga: To table budget in June

“The  budget should be implemented in the manner that is transparent and accountable at all levels,” Banda said  on Monday during the launch  of a K60 million project to the District Executive Committee (DEC).

The project to be implemented in project in eight districts across the country, is  funded by  the European Union, Department of International Development (DFID), Danish and Irish Church Aid under Tilitonse Fund.

Banda said the economic watchdog wants to empower people to demand accountability “with focus on expenditure tracking, performance management, civil society oversight and public integrity.”

He  also urged the government to urgently come up with a policy and strategy aimed at addressing capacity building issues at local councils to facilitate decentralisation process thereby enhancing and attaining efficiency in the management of public funds.

“Government should come up with policies and strategies to address capacity issues in a specific period at district level so that councils should be fully devolved,” he said.

MEJN is a civil society organisations (CSOs) coalition formed in 2000 dedicated to promoting  pro-poor participatory economic governance in the country.

Finance Minister Dr Ken Lipenga  is expected next month to present the 2012/2013 financial plan , a shift from zero-deficit budget introduced last year by the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.

 

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