DPP spokesperson on financial matters Dr Joseph Mwanamvekha, has described the 2021-2022 budget as unrealistic and unfriendly to the private sector.
Mwanamveka made the remarks in parliament as the house has resumed meeting after a two week break where the members went into cluster committees to scrutinize the 1.99 trillion kwacha budget which was presented in the house by finance minister Felix Mlusu.
Mwanamvekha says, “the budget is unrealistic as the projected exchange rate of 780 Malawi kwacha to the US dollar is unachievable”.
On agriculture the former finance minister expressed concern on 12 billion kwacha allocation to ADMARC and National Food Reserve Agency NFRA to buy surplus maize from smallholder farmers which he said is not adequate.
Mwanamvekha has also demanded government to release the list of beneficiaries of the National Economic Empowerment Fund NEEF loan, alleging that government is disbursing the money to Tonse supporters and sympathizers.
He also said the introduction of Value Added Tax on essential commodities will affect the livelihoods of many Malawians.
In his remarks, United Democratic Front UDF spokesperson, Ishmael Nkumba stressed the need for the separation of government and ruling party, if the country is to achieve social economic development.
He said most cases of the corruption in the country are orchestrated by people who feel cannot be prosecuted for belonging to the ruling party.
He cited government’s failure to track the 6.2 billion kwacha covid19 funds, and the selection of youths to benefit from NEEF loans.
He then called upon government to consider increasing budget for the Anti-Corruption Bureau ACB if the country is to win the fight against corruption.
Meanwhile the house has confirmed Martha Lunji as new chief-whip.