‘ERP cushioning Malawi against closed donor inflows’ – Minister

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) implementation has said Malawi’s economy has recovered because the country has so far stayed three months without donor inflows without any major consequences.

The Committee said Malawi now has 2.1 months import cover which translates to US$400 million. The IMF recommended in 3 months.

The Government launched the ERP as an economic road map intended to stabilize the economy and create a transformative framework for sustainable growth.

Jooma: ERP cushioning
Jooma: ERP cushioning

“We have plenty of food available because we have managed to address the challenge of hunger in the lean period. Our industries are at 70 percent production compared to 30 percent in 2012. It because they now have the means of production such as forex and fuel,” Chairperson of the Committee Ralph Pachalo Jooma said.

Jooma said this during a news conference in Mzuzu on Wednesday when his committee was giving an update on the ERP progress.

He said an economy that has recovered is one that is promising.

“It may not be the best but must be able to provide the means for players to obtain the means without hassles or much ado.

Jooma, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development, said Malawi’s economy has built resilience contrary to expectations that it will recede into a meltdown because of suspended budgetary support.

“Our economy is on a positive trajectory and is expected to grow by 6.1 percent this year from 5.4 percent in 2013. In 2012 it grew by 2 percent. We attribute this growth to the ERP,” he said

Countries under the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) withheld about US$150 million following revelations of massive looting of public funds in what has been dubbed as cashgate.

“Of course we cannot stay long without aid. We are working with them to see how we can iron out our differences so that budgetary support resumes,” Jooma said.

Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda said despite positive strides in economic recovery Malawi is feeling the pinch of the donor freeze.

“But what we have done as government is to enhance revenue collection measures citing the introduction of scanners at the country’s major borders as an example of enhancing the collection of custom duty,” Mwalwanda said.

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