Namisa Blogger of the year 2013,Stimulating the much needed debate

Minister of Finance Goodal Gondwe has disclosed that the country’s external debt is now at MK158.5 billion while domestic debt is at K340 billion, respectively.

He has since said that there is need to take particular care in preparing the budget as the country is in a difficult and confused financial situation.

Presenting provisional budget to allow government to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund, a sum of Two Hundred Ten Billion, One Hundred Seventy Eight Million, One Hundred Eighty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred Eighty Nine Kwacha (K210, 178,188, 689). The minister said the debt will complicate the already problematic situation that has arisen from severe limited donor budgetary support.

The four-month provisional budget is expected to keep the country’s economy running with only three days to go to the end of the 2013/14 fiscal year.

The House has since authorised government the withdrawal of the money.

Speaking on behalf of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), spokesperson on Finance Joseph Njovuyalema asked the Minister of Finance to make sure that part of the money is set aside for the purchase of subsidised fertiliser as the farming season is already around the corner.

The minister assured him that the amount of money that the house has approved is part of the 2014/2015 Financial Year Budget.

He pointed out that preparation of the annual budget for the 2014/2015 Financial Year has been delayed because of the shortage of the time between the conclusion of the elections and time in June when the budget should have been ready.

“There was not enough time for the government to undertake valued budgetary consultations with different stakeholders for the contributions to the budgeting process,” said Gondwe.

According to the minister it is not the first time the constitutional provision has to be used.

He gave example of 1999, 2004 under the UDF rule and in 2009 under the DPP rule, when such provision was also used.

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