PPM’s Katsonga feels Malawi Govt’s recovery plan is lip service

People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) president Mark Katsonga says the Joyce Banda administration has not come out clear on the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) formulated to resuscitate the economy, saying it is mere lip-service.

According to Malawi Minister of Economic Planning and Development, Atupele Muluzi , the recovery plan is a product of extensive local consultation by the People’s Party (PP) government led by President Banda as well as a national dialogue on the economy which took place in Mangochi earlier this year.

Katsonga however said in a media statement seen by Nyasa Timesthat government has failed to outline  “ a clear plan”  of the ERP.

Katsonga: Need clear plan of action

“Malawians expected to hear a clear plan government has to mitigate the suffering in these hard economic times but the ministers  failed to come out clearly on what government is doing to get Malawians out of the economic challenges,” Katsonga said.

He said Malawians need to be told a “ clear plan of action” and not mere rhetoric.

But Economic Planning ministry’s Principal Secretary Ted Sitimawina said government expects the economy to fully recover within a period of 12 to 18 months, starting from April this year.

He said when the kwacha was devalued by 49 percent, headline inflation rate rose from around 17 percent to 20 percent which he said was contrary to the assumption underpinning the recovery plan.

Sitimawina also said government expectation was that by the end of 2012, the inflation rate would average 18.4 percent.

However, Katsonga feels President Banda’s  cabinet lacks  “capacity, ability and political goodwill” to effectively implement Her Excellency’s vision, saying the majority of the cabinet ministers are “the very people responsible for the mismanagement of our economy” when they were ministers or MP’s in the previous DPP regime.

PPM warns that the outstanding determination of section 65, rampant corruption, rising crime, arbitrary arrests, unfair dismissals and crucial vacant positions in the civil service shall continue compelling some donors to withhold their aid should the government choose not to address them immediately.

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