Minister of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services, Patricia Kaliati, said government plans to scale down the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP), widely known as Cement and Malata Subsidy, to constituencies whose members of Parliament (MPs) are from the opposition.
Kaliati, who is also director of women in DPP, made the disclosure in her address at a rally at Mtsiriza Full Primary School in Lilongwe on Saturday.
The opposition Malawi Congress Party, People’s Party, Malawi Economic Justice Network, Economics Association of Malawi and some independent economic commentators have questioned the continued implementation of DAHSP, saying its cost does not make any economic sense.
During the presentation of Mid- Year Budget Review statement on Friday, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, said the reduction of the development budget will be made through a suspension of a few projects that can be removed without major impact on economic growth.
Apparently, opposition parties have been proposing that in the wake of economic hardships facing the country, government should scale down or suspend the K7 billion subsidy programme until the situation improved.
Kaliati said since the opposition is calling for DAHSP abolition, it was not proper that their constituencies should benefit from it.
Under the programme, government is targeting 15 440 beneficiaries of which 965 beneficiaries are on the grant component comprising vulnerable households (child-headed, elderly and people with disabilities) while the rest being under the subsidy component.
The programme has been rolled out in the country’s 35 local government councils in both rural and urban areas and at community level. About 35 000 people comprising carpenters, bricklayers, security guards and casual labourers have been recruited.