Malawi: Katsonga Says Tonse 1 Million Jobs Plan Hit With 'Too Little' K1.7bn to Ministry of Industry

15 October 2020

Member of Parliament for Neno South, Mark Katsonga -Phiri has described as "too little "the allocation of K1.7 billion to ministry of industry (Vote 390) in the national budget, saying such an allocation contradicts Tonse Alliance government's dream of creating one million jobs within a year in power.

President Lazarus Chakwera made plenty of election campaign promises, most notably their pledge to create "one million jobs" within a year.

Commenting on 2020/21 fiscal plan, Katsonga, who is also People's Progressive Movement (PPM) a partner in Tonse Alliance, said: "I am party to Tonse Alliance government and creating one million jobs is a serious matter and we also have to be seen to be serious with our policy."

Katsonga continued: "K1.7 billion is too little to the ministry [of industry] which is key to creating such jobs."

Parliament on Wednesday passed the K2.19 trillion national budget with minimal amendments to the financial plan tabled by Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu.

The passing of the Appropriation Act, the Tonse Alliance administration's maiden fiscal plan, means the Chakwera administration can now start spending from the public purse from November 1 2020.

The Treasury czar said the outlined programmes in the budget will ensure that one of the key components of the Tonse manifesto--the creation of one million jobs--materialises.

Mlusu said government will "implement policy actions and provide appropriate incentives" to unleash this potential in sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism, manufacturing and ICT.

The minister said the job creation agenda will be buoyed by a number of several initiatives that have already been initiated.

Some of the initiatives Mlusu mentioned included establishment of modern and fully equipped job centres which will first be established in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu.

"The job centres will assist job seekers to access employment information from employers and vice versa. These job centres will also be connected to government systems that will enable reporting of number of people employed in real time," he told lawmakers.

Minister of Labour, Ken Kandodo, said government has set a roadmap where it is working with the private sector in creating job opportunities for Malawians and addressing challenges of unemployment in the country.

"We are engaging employers on their recruitment plan, how many people they have at the moment, how many do they plan to employ next year, and how we can help make that happen and so forth," he said.

Kandodo also said at job centres people will be able to check available jobs and submit their credentials for a possible match.

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