Malawi govt increased salary for civil servants

Minister of Finance Simplex Chinthyola Banda has said that within the 2023/24 revised budget, the total budget for wages and salaries for civil servants has been increased by MK80 billion from its approved MK900 billion to MK980 billion.

Chithyola Banda stressed that such a provision is meant to cushion civil servants from the recent Kwacha realignment which saw the local currency being devalued by 44 percent.

This confirms President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s promise that civil servants will get a pay rise as one of the measures to help them sail through the economic challenges.

Chithyola presenting the budget

The Minister was speaking in Parliament on Monday when he presented 2023/24 revised national budget and mid-year review.

Chinthyola Banda also indicated that the austerity measures as recently announced by President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera are expected to save almost MK4.2 billion during the implementation of the last quarter of the national budget.

President Chakwera’s austerity measures include suspension of foreign trips as well as slashing of benefits for ministers and other senior government officials.

Chinthyola Banda says the money saved will be rechanelled towards productive sectors of the economy such as the mega farms programmes which is one of the flagship campaign promises by President Chakwera administration.

The Minister of Finance also said that the IMF’s approval of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for Malawi will unlock more than 240 million dollars (almost MK404 billion).

The new ECF in itself is worth about 174 million dollars and is expected to bolster the country’s Balance of Payments (BoP)- a record of transactions between Malawi and the rest of the world.

This is Chinthyola Banda’s first budget statement to Parliament but it oozes more optimism and hope following various measures that the Government has put in place to cushion Malawians on the shocks of the recent devaluation.

Further, the Finance Minister announces a flurry of more expected inflows to be injected into the economy on the back of the new IMF programme.

The resources are a first of its kind to be disbursed to President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera administration since the plunder of resources that occurred in 2013, popularly christened cashgate.

For instance, Chithyola Banda says Malawi will receive 80 million dollars direct budget support from World Bank-which is currently ranked the country’s largest multilateral creditor through its development arm, the International Development Association (IDA).

The country is also set to get 30 million dollars from the African Development Bank (AfDB) as well as 60 million euros from the European Union (EU).

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