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Malawi 2014/2015 budget debate begins Wednesday

BLANTYRE (MaraviPost)–Malawi’s National Assembly, which was adjourned last Tuesday to allow Parliamentary Committees examine the K742.6 billion 2014/15 national budget, resumes sitting this Wednesday.

The Committees will report back on their analysis of the national budget before Members of Parliament begin debate.

The House was initially adjourned following the adoption of new Standings Orders to allow Parliamentary Committees to examine the budget allocations and estimates as proposed by the Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe last Tuesday.

Political parties’ spokespersons on finance, represented in the House, will also respond to Gondwe’s proposed national budget.

The cluster committees entrusted with the duty of examining the national budget included Education, Transport, Public Accounts, Budget and Finance, Legal Affairs, Commerce and Trade, and HIV/Health.

The agriculture sector has been allocated a lion’s share of K142 billion, which includes K50.8 billion for fertiliser subsidy. Health has been allocated K65.2 billion, Education K127 billion while Transport and Public Works has received K31 billion.

Gondwe has also increased allocation to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) by 167 percent to make sure “its efforts in fighting graft are not hampered by lack of funding”.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the Judiciary and the Malawi Police Service have also received large increments for the same reason.

Another key highlight in the budget , is the extra K7 billion allocated to the Ministry of Lands, Urban Development and Housing to introduce a pilot scheme in subsidising iron sheets and cement.

Gondwe also informed the House that government will also establish Malawi Development Bank that “will start with a government majority shareholding with a sizeable private sector shareholding”.

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