Government is describing as genuine concerns that it is spending huge allowances on members of parliament when they sit as plenary or committees, calling for speedy constructions of their houses in Lilongwe.
Information minister Patricia Kaliati said there was need to consult widely on the construction of the houses at parliament building as there is a reserve land for such a project.
“We have heard these concerns and they are genuine. Our members should be given accomodation at the parliament building site or closer to that place rather letting them commute from their constituencies as is the case now,” said Kaliati.
Economists Association of Malawi president Henry Kachanje and Phildephia Foundation chairperson Ronald Chamthunya expressed concern that the daily sitting allowances the legislators get when parliament is meeting is a drain on the resources.
The law makers get K40,000 a day when parliament is meeting and this translates into over K1 billion in allowances for a month long session for the 193 members.
In addition to plenary, the MPs also meet in committees and draws the same K40 000 a day subsistence allowance.
However MPs almost brought the mid-year budget review meeting to a standstill as they demanded more money for the National Assembly vote for more Committee meetings.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has since summoned Speaker Richard Msowoya to tell the committee why there is no enough money for committee meetings among other key issues.
Government says all government departments including the executive are facing huge budget cuts due to the shaky economy.