By: Tamandani Hau
The Economic Association of Malawi (ECAMA), is cautioning the government to formulate the 2023/2024 national budget with realistic and responsive factors, in line with the country’s economic challenges.
ECAMA Executive Director, Frank Chikuta was speaking during an interface meeting Friday with the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance at Parliament Building in Lilongwe, as the Ministry of Finance has completed the 2023/224 pre-budget consultative meetings.
Chikuta said the budget should be based on the availability of forex and exchange rate assumptions that are in line with the economy of the country.
“As ECAMA we also suggest the abolition of the Affordable Input Program (AIP) and the funds should be allocated to investments of mage farms that have the capability of uplifting the economy of the country in forex and employment situations”, added Chikuta.
Meanwhile, the Committee Vice Chairperson, Ralph Joma has said the committee expects nothing new from the budget, rather than a budget aligned on the pillars of the current economic crisis.
Speaking during one of the meetings in Blantyre, Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe singled out that reducing budget deficits and containing public debt currently at K7.3 trillion, are some of the challenges in the 2023/24 financial year.
Gwengwe said among others, the meetings which started on January 9th, 2023, were conducted so that people should take part in the formulation of the budget for it to be aligned with the 2063 vision in all the development sectors.