Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodal Gondwe has rebutted newspaper reports suggesting that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government has dumped the Economic Recovery Plan (EPR) mooted by the previous Joyce Banda administration.
Gondwe, who has briefly served as economic planning minister in Banda government, said a news article which appeared in the Daily Times of June 30, 2014. misrepresented what he said.
“The reports that we have dumped the ERP instituted by the previous government are not true,” Gondwe told a news conference in Lilongwe on Friday.
“I was asked to comment on the ERP and what I did say is that a number of parts, the most important one is that of borrowing has not worked,” he said.
Gondwe said the floating rate, interest rate and a number of other short-term programs are prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and help in making good, sound economic management and do not belong to a particular party which the current government would follow.
He however said they were some areas in the ERP which did not work and that the current government would discontinue them.
“We will take the parts of that program which are good and we will continue with them, but those that are not like the over borrowing which has taken place, will not be followed,” he said.
Press Corporation Chief Executive Officer Matthews Chikaonda bemoaned the fact that the Banda government, which introduced the ERP shortly after coming into power following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, did not consult the private sector when developing the economic blueprint.
“I head the biggest conglomerate in the country but I only heard about the ERP on the day it was launched. Who came to the private sector to consult us about the ERP? We are the ones to do the doing but how much consultation were made with us?” Chikaonda is on record saying.
Officials from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and the Reserve Bank of Malawi strongly defended the plan, saying results have started to show and called on Malawians to trust the government blueprint.