Former Finance Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha has said that the change of the government’s fiscal calendar by the Tonse Administration will not make any significant difference.
The government through the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms on Tuesday announced that the fiscal year will be starting on April 1 and ending on March 31. Previously the financial year was beginning on July 1 and ending on June 30.
Secretary for the ministry Winford Masanjala said the new calendar will ease government’s ability to fund public institutions involved in the agriculture production cycle given Malawi’s economic structure.
But Mwanamvekha who served as Finance Minister in the Democratic Progressive Party administration has argued that the reform will not bring any significant changes.
He noted that with a fiscal year ending in June, it is possible to fund government agencies to buy maize from farmers after harvest.
“So between March to June it is possible to still buy maize and that is why we have a midyear budget review,” he said.
Masanjala in the statement on Tuesday said the 2020/21 fiscal year will maintain the June-July calendar but the 2021/22 financial year will be shortened to nine months as it will start on 1 July, 2021 and end on 31 March, 2022. This means that the 2022/24 financial year will follow the April-March calendar.
Government is expected to constitute a taskforce which will monitor the synchronization of systems across the public sector and review all affected laws and regulations.