It is common knowledge that the Malawi National Assembly, convened on 18th May 2012, finalized its business on 29th June after six consecutive weeks of deliberations.
The Second Session of the Forty-Third Parliamentary sitting was called to, among other things, deliberate and approve the 2012-13 National Budget to a tune of Four Hundred and Eight Billion Malawi Kwacha.
Before going further with the issue of national budget, YPU wishes to commend Government and all Parliamentarians for making an effort to discard a number of laws that attracted public outcry upon being passed by the August House during the previous government.
Among others, the National Assembly has discarded the Civil Procedures Bill, popularly known as the Injunctions Bill, Section 46 of the Penal Code that gave an Information Minister powers to ban a publication which he deems not in the interest of the general public, as well as the Flag Modification Bill. All along, one of YPU’s calls to government has been to repeal such laws.
However, YPU expected the Tripartite Elections Bill to be tabled during this session as 2014 is drawing nearer. This would have given key players in the electoral system ample time for preparations and civic education. YPU believes that democracy and good governance always go together with decentralization of power. In our case as Malawi, this can be achieved by electing councilors at the earliest possible opportunity. It therefore remains YPU’s expectation that the bill in question will be tabled in the National Assembly as soon as possible.
On the other hand, due to the budget deliberations and approval, YPU feels the just ended Parliamentary session was crucial for it will determine the fate of the ordinary Malawians in the subsequent twelve months.
We are glad to note that a total of Four Hundred and Eight Billion Malawi Kwacha has been unanimously approved to run the country during this fiscal year. It is YPU’s belief that this amount will go a long way in improving the lot of the ordinary Malawians who are currently facing the painful realities of the recent Kwacha devaluation.
YPU has also been requesting Government to consider the welfare of Civil Servants in the country since the effect of the 7% salary increment in the outgoing Zero Deficit Budget has been almost negligible. Apart from this, the series of economic reforms taken by the Malawi Government including the devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha have pushed the welfare of Civil Servants to the edge. It is against this background that we salute Government for taking an initiative to have an overall 21% salary increment for Civil Servants amidst the financial difficulties that we our economy is going through.
We are also glad that the Ministry of Education has received a lion’s share in the budget. We believe this will not only help in improving education standards but also uplifting the welfare of many young people in Malawi since they will be direct beneficiaries.
However, our concern on the issue of budget remains that the National Assembly has approved allocations to fifty-seven Government Ministries and Departments within a period of three days only. Our legitimate fear is that the scrutinization process has been minimal.
YPU wishes all Parliamentarians all the best as they help Government in the implementation of this budget. As YPU, we will also contribute the best of our ability to make sure that the budget is implemented as planned. In the same vein, we also ask Malawians to assist government in this exercise so that our welfare should be uplifted.
By way of final remark, we would like to wish Malawians all the best as we mark forty-eight years of independence come 6th July, 2012.
NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER-YOUNG POLITICIANS UNION (YPU)Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :