Malawi Parliament Meeting Starts September 9 for Budget

19 August 2019

The National Assembly has announced that the new cohort of members of Parliament (MPs) will have their second deliberations in the august House for one month for a national budget session starting September 9 to October 11 2019.

The members of parliament are expected to debate the 2019/20 National Budget which Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha is expected to present.

Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara has announced the call for the gathering, which will be the second meeting of the 48th session of Parliament.

In a statement issued Monday, Gotani Hara said the MPs would meet for the 48th Session of Parliament from September 9 to October 11.

Reads the statement: "All Cabinet ministers, deputy Cabinet ministers and honourable members of Parliament are summoned to attend the meeting at the time and place indicated until adjournment sine die and herein fail not."

Currently, the country is running on a provisional budget of K511 billion covering four months from July to October. Treasury pushed through Parliament a provisional budget to ensure continuity of government business after the budgeting process was disrupted by the May 21 Tripartite Elections.

Mwanamvekha and his budget team have been seeking input from the public on what should be included in the 2019/20 National Budget.

The Finance Minister has hinted that the next budget will hinge on promoting both domestic and foreign investments while strengthening prudent fiscal discipline.

Mwanamvekha bragged that the next budget will strive to give the nation "value for money".

The next budget is also coming at a time public debt is on the rise and now pegged at $4.3 billion (about K3.2 trillion) or 68 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The stock comprises domestic debt of $2.2 billion (about K1.6 trillion) or 34.9 percent of GDP and external debt at $2.1 billion (about K1.5 trillion) or 33 percent of GDP.

The previous budget that expired on June 30 was also riddled with deficits that led to compromised service delivery in sectors such as health, education and infrastructure development.

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