Government should present a comprehensive report from 1994 up to now on how much it has borrowed and the impact of the loans have had to the intended beneficiary, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has demanded.
MCP has been accusing the government of high levels of borrowing, saying there is dismal impact on the ground.
“As a country, we seem to be borrowing a lot,” observed Juliana Lunguzi, Dedza East MP (Malawi Congress Party-MCP).
Lunguzi, who is also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, was contributing to the motion under Bill Number 31 of 2016 seeking Parliament approval and authorisation to lend K16.5 billion from Export and Import Bank of China moved by Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe on Tuesday.
She demanded that government should provide “a summary of what we have been borrowing for that how much impact such loans have made on the lives of the intended beneficiaries.”
Lunguzi further faulted government for its tendency not to finish loan-funded development projects.
However, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Gondwe defended the government’s borrowing drive, saying Malawi needs financial resources to accelerate development.
Gondwe said the loan will enable government enhance and improve internet connectivity by connecting the services to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom).
But Lunguzi queried the minister on which entity government is borrowing considering that the power utility provider Escom will soon be unbundled.
The minister said government shares the concerns of the opposition when the loans are not used properly.
He nonetheless emphasised that enhancement and improvement of internet connectivity will translate into improved service delivery in public offices.
Gondwe said he will bring the comprehensive report to the House “once it’s ready.”
He said: “We will be explaining to her how much we have in fact borrowed and what we have used it on, and how we will be covering all that. I think we will have a full day of discussion on the policy that we are following as far as borrowing is concerned.”
Parliament has given the Finance Minister 90 days to bring the report.
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