By Rick Dzida
It is my belief that you have thoroughly read the 2021/2022 budget. You may have your own analysis of this budget depending on your knowledge, patriotism and political affiliation.
Missing links in the budget
- It is an unrealistic budget because the exchange rate for a dollar is already over MK900 while the minister of finance projects it at MK780. With Covid-19 effects and inflation, there is no way Malawian currency can appreciate contrary to the wishes of the Minister of Finance, opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Joseph Mwanaamveka argues.
- The budget is debt-ridden with a deficit of MK811.70 billion.
- The budget is consumptive. 71% of the total budget is for recurrent expenditure while only 29% for development.
- The budget is not aligned with Vision 2063. Only few pillars of Vision 2063 have been addressed in the budget.
- Not enough funds were allocated to ADMARC, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education.
- Government has not negotiated better prices for tobacco farmers.
- Only a few 2,700 groups benefited from NEEF funds.
- There are no 900 health posts in the budget contrary to the claims made by President Lazarus Chakwera in his State of National Address (SONA). Was he just trying to hoodwink Malawians?
- There is no mention of many campaign promises in the budget such as monthly stipend of MK15,000 to elderly, free water and electricity connection, mega farms, bullet train etc… Is Tonse Alliance government serious? Kapena akuzetenga ngati zamasanje?
- 90% of people who lost jobs are from Southern and Eastern regions. Where is unity or servant leadership Reverend Chakwera is preaching?
- In a cabinet of 31 members, only 60 % are from one district – Lilongwe. Nepotism, tribalism and ethnocentrism have just shifted from DPP camp to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) camp. No mindset change contrary to what is preached in Vision 2063.
- Increase funding to ACB.
- ACB must further investigate the misappropriation of COVID 19 funds and NOCMA fuel scandal.
- Enact policies that empower indigenous Malawians so that they can invest in small businesses.
- Government must cut down unnecessary international trips as part of austere measures to cut down cost. It was exorbitant and lavish spending when Mkaka chartered a private plane amid financial woes Malawi is facing.
- Government must reduce international borrowing to mitigate huge public debts
- Government must find means to stabilise the cost of essential commodities such as cooking oil, bus fares, bread rather reducing the price of opaque and malt beer. Abusa a Chakwera mwatani kodi?
- Relax the restrictive NEEF collaterals so that loans should benefit the real disadvantaged local Malawians.
- Government must implement policies that ensure that 60% of government contracts are awarded to indigenous Malawians.
- Government must construct many community colleges
- Government must not only concentrate on Affordable Input Programme (AIP) but it should also consider other areas such as climate change, irrigation development, livestock production etc…
- Increase more funding allocation to the Ministry of Education, Agriculture and Health
- Diversify sources of power supply such as coal, solar etc…
- NEEF funds must benefit all Malawians not only MCP members.
- Government must indicate the actual time when duty free week, free and water connection, cheap passports will be implemented. Osamangolubwa
- There is already $3, 000 duty free waiver and therefore Government must just raise it $6,000. Otherwise Tonse Alliance Government is just hoodwinking its citizens on duty free week.
[Source : A response to the budget by DPP and UDF Finance spokespersons]
About the Author: Rick DZIDA is a social media and political commentator and send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor