Malawi economic expert trashes pre-budget consultations

An economic expert at the CCAP owned University of Livingstonia has spoken against the just ended pre-budget consultations which were organized by the ministry of finance, saying they are a waste of time and resources.

Government has been conducting the pre-budget consultations in all the regions of the country to solicit views, contributions and inputs from all stakeholders in the country on the 2014/2015 budget.

Dr. Collins Kalua,   a lecturer at University of Livingstonia   told a local radio MIJ FM that the meetings are unnecessary as the inputs from various sections of society are in most cases not taken into consideration.

Kalua: Recommendations are rarely taken on board
Kalua: Recommendations are rarely taken on board

“I don’t see the reason what they should waste money irresponsibly doing these pre-budget consultation because in most cases what happens is that what people recommend is not what is implemented. So I think this is a waste of money,” he said.

Malawi finance minister Goodall Gondwe has pegged 2014 to 2015 national budget at about K700  billion slightly higher than the 2013 to 2014 which was about K630.5 billion.

But Gondwe insists that this year’s budget would not necessarily be an increase from that of last year, after considering other economic factors.

“We are talking about economic factors like inflation and the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals that would determine the level of this year’s budget,” he said.

The ministry of finance is mandated to formulate economic and fiscal policy and manage financial and material resources of the government of Malawi in order to realise balanced and sustainable economic growth and to reduce poverty

This year’s budget is also expected to incorporate various factors which were introduced in 2012, aimed at resuscitating the country’s economy.

He did not clarify on whether the 40% donor budgetary contribution will be incorporated but said there is hope that some of the donors will make their contributions to the budget.

Donors suspended their budgetary support to Malawi in 2013, following the revelation of a massive corruption scandal dubbed ‘cash gate’ which dates back from 2005 but exposed in 2013.

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