Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has pledged to deliver an inclusive 2023/2024 budget that will work for Malawians.
Gwengwe made the statement in Lilongwe on Wednesday during ministerial pre-budget consultation meeting for the 2023/2024 fiscal year.
Speaking with reporters, the minister said that listening to the diverse views from various sectors of the country’s economy and some of the ideas that have been presented by people from various platforms will help his ministry to deliver inclusive budget.
Gwengwe asked people in the country to avoid looking at budget as expenditure because a budget is revenue versus expenditure.
“Over the years , you have seen that there has been misalignment of what we get as revenue and what we spend, and this has created a lot of gap to our budget to an extent that our budget deficits have continued to grow up and forcing government to indulge in borrowing just to make sure that the budget is implemented,” he explained.
In his remarks, Economics Association of Malawi (ECAM) Executive Secretary Frank Chikuta said that the pressure that the country is facing now in terms of foreign currency and exchange rate should be taken into account when the coming budget is being formulated.
He added that the issue of massive blackouts should also be taken into consideration because it is contributing to decrease in tax collection because if business people who rely on electricity are failing to conduct their businesses normally, it means that government will not be able to collect taxes.
In his comment, Board member for Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Limbani Nsapato asked the minister to allocate enough funds in the education sector so that there should be provision of digital equipment for Open Distance Learning (ODL) and also training and recruitment of special needs teachers.
The ministerial pre-budget consultation meeting for the 2023/2024 fiscal year started in Blantyre on Monday and will end on Friday in Mzuzu.
Business Community, Religious Institutions, Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations participated in the consultations in Lilongwe.
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