US Ambassador Virginia Palmer:  increase in funding Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Judiciary is a welcome development.
The2017-2018 Malawi national budget that was unveiled by the Finance Minister Dr. Goodall Gondwe on Friday, has received different reactions from Malawians, diplomats as well as the country’s development partners.While most quoters have hailed the budget, some have advised the Malawi Government not to misuse the funds collected for the budget.

Among the Malawians that have hailed the 2017-2018 national budget include the leader of opposition in Parliament, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Dr Lazarus Chakwera.

Chakwera said that the unveiled budget has shown that Government took the lives of Malawians at heart.

“Especially because of including the wishes and demands of Malawians in the budget, I therefore describe it as a budget for Malawians,” Chakwera said.

Some diplomats have described the budget as very encouraging.

For instance, the European Union’s  (EU) Ambassador Marchel Germann, and United States (US) Ambassador Virginia Palmer, said they welcomed the increase in funding, in particular, to governance bodies such as the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Judiciary.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) country representative Andrew Mwaba, commended Government for increasing the funds to new initiatives especially in the energy and agriculture sectors.

However, the executive director for Karonga Youth for Justice and Development (KYJD) Steven Simsokwe, asked Government to put some strong measures that will protect the allocated funds from abused.

“As almost everyone is happy with the budget, I just want to caution Government not to misuse the funds,” said Simsokwe.

In his presentation, Goodall Gondwe said the 2017-2018 national budget aims to revamp the economic status of the country.

Through the budget, Government has introduced tax on subscriptions on television, a 35 percent tax on salary incomes of over K3 million a month, and an increase in allocations to governance institutions such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Judiciary, Legal Aid Bureau, and the Office of the Director of Public Officers’ Declarations.

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