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Malawi’s 2020/2021 Budget is Consumptive and empty says former Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha

Former Finance Minister in Mutharika administration, Joseph Mwanamvekha

Former Finance Minister in Mutharika administration, Joseph Mwanamvekha tears Budget apart describe it as Consumptive and empty

Former Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha has today described the recently presented budget as lacking penitent issues describing it as empty and lacks.

He said if checked properly the budget has Two trillion Kwacha for expenditure and only K500 Billion on Development

Mwanamvekha said in the budget there is nothing about reducing passport fees, nonrenewable driving licenses, Water and ESCOM free connection fee, and the K15,000 monthly allowances for the elderly aged from 60 years old and above.

“As you are aware, Malawians voted for Tonse Alliance because of these promises and we feel the failure to fulfill what was promised is not acceptable.

Malawians want cheap fertilizer now and not next year, Malawians want nonrenewable Driving licenses now, and Malawians wants cheap passports now.” He said.

Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu presenting national budget in parliament

Honorable Mwanamvekha also said the budget is silent on Universal subsidy instead the budget is talking about Targeted Farm Input Programme which was not covered during the campaign.

“Having said that let me say that the budget has not also covered COVID-19 – risk allowance for teachers, health personnel, Immigration officers, and prison warders. “

He said there is nothing in the budget covering Mombela/Chief Mbelwa University, Nyika – Rumphi Chitipa Road so this budget can be described as empty.

Meanwhile, Mwanamvekha while commending the minimum tax band he said that will benefit people who are employed and not poor people from the village.

Mwanamveka described Tonse alliance as copy and paste administration.

The Chakwera government has hijacked and started touting the DPP government policy in which it requested a Rapid Extended Facility from IMF in response to Covid-19.

The DPP administration made the request on 9 April 2020, some two weeks after President Peter Mutharika declared the State of Disaster for Malawi due to coronavirus.

A quick recollection of Malawi’s transactions with IMF however shows that it was the Peter Mutharika government as opposed to a Tonse government which got the Rapid Credit Facility before the Election on 20 April 2020.

IMF offered the facility to Malawi Government owing to an excellent track record of economic performance under Peter Mutharika.

MCP government is panicking and struggling to showcase performance, hence they are hijacking Peter Mutharika’s programs as Tonse Alliance programs.

Mwamvekha said measures to enforce fiscal discipline are impressive and that revenue mobilization strategy is a milestone.

He also said organizing the informal sector into cooperatives is transformative both from the perspective of facilitating their growth and from the perspective of broadening the tax base

The former Minister said the project K1.179 domestic revenue is likely to be unattainable because the economic fundamentals do not give confidence that such an amount can be realized.

“Huge deficit (K754 billion) with substantial part for domestic financing (K530 billion) risks destabilizing macroeconomic framework development expenditure at 23% continues to be low and lower than estimates in previous years. The development component  has failed to pass the development budget test as the minimum threshold internationally is 25 percent.” He said.

Mwanamvekha said the Tonse Alliance administration has in essence duped Malawians as it first promised to implement a Universal Subsidy but instead Government has backtracked by bringing a completely different version of the targeted subsidy.

“Malawians should be reminded that not all that glitters is gold. The Tonse Alliance administration promised a litany of things to Malawians but they are nowhere in the budget. Malawians were promised to Canaan but in actual truth is that we are going back to Egypt.” He said.

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