MPs pass K0.5 trillion budget

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Members of Parliament have today passed a provisional K0.5 trillion budget.

Minister of Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha said the K511 billion budget will meet expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government from 1st July 2019 to 31st October 2019 or until the Appropriation Act, 2019 comes into force.

The provisional budget has been passed on the condition that any money so withdrawn shall be included under the appropriate heads in the Appropriation Bill relating to the Appropriation Act, 2019.

According to Mwanamvekha, government could not present the full budget because Cabinet was constituted on 20th June, 2019 and there was limited time to bring the full budget before the House and have the Appropriation Bill passed before 1st July, 2019.

The Provisional Budget which has been passed has total revenue and grants amounting to K461.2 billion of which K410.5 billion is domestic revenues and K50.7 billion are grants.
It includes wages and salaries projected at K135 billion.

Mwanamvekha said the projection has been based on Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies’ (MDAs) actual expenditure on wages and salaries as well as the recent promotion of Teachers and security officers.

There is also a total provision of K116.5 billion for development of which K98.7 billion is foreign financed while K17.9 billion is domestically financed.

Mwanamvekha said the development expenditure is for ongoing projects only.

He then assured the House that they will have an opportunity to fully debate the budget statement for the 2019/2020 national budget in September 2019.

Speaking with reporters later, Mwanamvekha said that the ministry aims at stabiling the economy of this country.

He said he will ensure that borrowing is reduced and that the money is used for intended purpose.

He therefore asked for support from both sides of the House to make sure that budget assists poor people in the village.

On his part, Malawi Congress Party Spokesperson on Finance in the House Sosten Gwengwe welcomed the financial resolution saying it will curb some of the challenges in the country.

Gwengwe stressed on the need to reduce exchange rates as well as debts as away of stabilising the economy.

On her part , Leader of United Democratic Front in the House Lilian Patel asked the Minister to ensure that the financial resolution benefits growers such as Tobbaco growers whom she said are facing financial challenges and are being robbed.

Patel also asked the minister to ensure that the budget reaches people who were affected by floods.

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