President Lazarus Chakwera says his administration has already put in place measures to increase incomes of Malawians and any person saying Government has done nothing to help people deal with rising cost of living is not being honest.
He was speaking yesterday at the launch of the Presidential Initiative on Job Creation at BICC in Lilongwe
The Malawi leader noted the pain of rising prices of goods is being felt in every home in the country and Malawians want his administration to do everything to alleviate the suffering.
He, however, argued that his administration, from the very start, understood that one of the ways to solve the rising cost of living was to increase incomes of Malawians.
According to Chakwera, measures implemented to increase incomes include his order to increase minimum wage across all sectors and increase of the tax-free band of PAYE to K100,000.
Other measures the president mentioned include implementation of subsidies under Agriculture Inputs Programme, repayment of arrears to businesses, social cash transfers, and disbursement of K25 billion loans under NEEF.
“When I ordered that infrastructure projects be rolled out across the country, [the construction projects] created thousands of jobs that I knew would increase incomes,” said Chakwera.
He then said: “When you look at all these measures and policies we have put in place, it is clear that any person claiming that government has done nothing to help people meet the rising cost of living, is simply not being honest.”
He, however, admitted that his administration has not reached the target of one million jobs in the timeframe set during the campaign.
Nonetheless, Chakwera claimed that the combined total number of jobs created and jobs saved in the past year and a half has likely reached a million.
“But more jobs need to be created for the remaining 2 million young people who are unemployed,” he said.
The Malawi leader then stated that his administration will engage the private sector and the business community in Malawi as partners on job creation.
He noted that in every economy in the world that is creating jobs at the pace that keeps up with the rising cost of living, those jobs are being created in the private sector.
“But the private sector does not create jobs simply because the Government has told them to. The private sector creates jobs when the Government removes the political, legislative and administrative obstacles that hinder economic growth. Government is committed to the removal of such obstacles,” said Chakwera.