Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) says the idea by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government to subsidise iron sheets and cement is possible and implementable.
Mejn executive director Dalitso Kubalasa in an interview said the government has already managed to implement other subsidies such as the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp); hence, it is possible to implement the iron sheets and cement subsidy programme as well.
But Kubalasa said Malawians should ask themselves whether subsidy on iron sheets and cement is what they want now.
“This subsidy is possible just like all other subsidies in agriculture, health and education have been possible. What is an issue should not, therefore, just be possibility but rather viability and relevance.
“The idea, therefore, needs to be teased up further and relevant questions asked. Is it what Malawi would want now at any cost?”he queried.
Kubalasa said going by the other subsidies implemented in Malawi before, there is always a risk and chance that the iron sheets and cement may end up in the wrong hands.
“That would obviously be a possibility of an unnecessary cost to the taxpayer, who is already struggling to meet basic needs against a string of wants. The reality is that the Malawi economy is already heavily burdened by other equally more essential needs in the education service delivery, health service delivery and agriculture,” he said.
Kubalasa said there is still an uncomfortable feeling that this issue might have been just one of those campaign manifesto issues ushered into play during the political campaign craze to, among others, counter Mudzi Transformation Trust that was being implemented by the previous regime of People’s Party (PP).