MEJN strikes last nail on zero-deficit budget

In  a move that has confirmed many Malawians fears on the country’s ambitious allocation paper, the Malawi Economics Justice Network (Mejn) has hammered the last nail invalidating the relevance of the much-touted zero deficit budget.

Speaking in an interview with Zodiak Broadcasting Station Mejn Executive Director Dalitso Kubalasa said the zero-deficit has definitely failed.

Kubalasa, who has vast economic background,  told the station that the financial plan has failed to deliver to Malawians.

“Both you and I know there are so much of the challenges that have been there.

Kubalasa: Mutharika's zero deficit financial plan fails

“Reflecting  on the concerns and fear that was being raised by the stakeholders. We can say some of the fears are now being vindicated as most of the assumptions that were underpinning the zer-deficit budget are not materialisin,” Kubalasa said.

He further commended government for “reversing” some of the rhetoric being made on development partners in an indirect reference to the diplomatic saga’s Lilongwe had with London and Lusaka.

Mejn stand is coming at a time when the donor community has made it clear that it is not willing to release over US$500 million in budgetary support with the World Bank saying is concerned with threats to press freedom and what it terms ‘shrinking political space’ in reference to intolerance by the current leadership.

At K304 billion the zero-deficit budget was expected to be financed by taxes and government introduced new and increased some of the existing tax bands as a strategy to meet the 40 percent budgetary support given by donors.

But this has been distorted with several economic challenges ranging from lack of forex availability due to dropping tobacco earnings, donor support which has led to several multiplier effects like low fuel levels that have prompted dwindling economic activities and higher transportation costs.

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