Former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) says when Parliament resumes sitting this month in the capital Lilonwe, it will take to task government to explain why it overspent in the implementation of the 2012/13 farm input subsidized .
According to Speaker of the National Assembly, the 43rd parliamentary session will begin on February 8 and President Dr Joyce Banda will official open the House with a State of the Nation address.
UDF says it will quiz government to explain the extra K12 billion spent in the implementation of the programme.
“We would like answers from government on why they government overspent in the implementation of the programme,”UDF parliamentary spokesperson Muhamud Lali said.
“We are asking the government to tell us why it used more funds,” Lali said.During the parliamentary meeting, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga is also expected to table a mid-term budget review.
UDF says there are prepared to critique government on budget performance and that their focus will be on farm subsidy.
“Nearly all ministries overspent, but we are particularly interested in Farm Input Subsidy Programme. For transparency and accountability’s sake, government should explain and give valid reasons,” he said.
Government through its spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu attributed government’s overspending to the devaluation of the local currency, the Kwacha.
Malawi’s ailing and donor-dependent economy faces further battering, as poor performance in the key agricultural sector, rising inflation and a widening current account deficit accelerate the country’s economic downturn.
President Banda is now faced with the intractable challenge of pacifying large-scale public discontent, which needs convincing that her administration’s policies are better than those of the predecessor, ahead of the general elections in 2014.