Malawi Parliament has passed yet another Loan Authorisation Bill, this time Bill Number 33 of 2016, which authorises government to borrow K50.25 billion from the International Development Association (IDA).
Members of Parliament (MPs) passed the Loan Bill on Tuesday.
Accoridng to Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe, the loan will go towards “second additional financing for strengthening safety nets systems project” under the Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf IV).
He said the safety nets systems project aims, among others, to cushion hunger-stricken households.
Gondwe said the identified beneficiaries will undertake various development projects in their areas thereby contributing to the transformation of their societies.
In an interview outside the House, some opposition MPs suggested that as much as they welcome MASAF IV there was need to evaluate the previous MASAF programs especially the public works element to see if it has managed to reduce poverty.
Independent MP for Salima Central Felix Jumbe calls for managers of MASAF need to explain to the nation and show tangible results in terms of the ability of the public works program in alleviating poverty.
“It is not good that this program just continues even where we see no real results as far as ending poverty is concerned,” argues Jumbe.
Jumbe said that he believes that the current set up the program is not in anyway helping to end poverty, but rather increasing poverty.
But government defends MASAF project – which was introduced by former president Bakili Muluzi and funded by World Bank – that it has some areas with very tangible results that clearly show that they have positively impacted on nation development.
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