Opposition political parties have called upon government to ensure there are linkages between the country’s short, medium and long-term development goals.
The parties, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), United Democratic Front (UDF) and People’s Party (PP), made the calls in reaction to the State of the Nation Address by President Peter Mutharika presented in Parliament last week.
UDF leader in Parliament, who was sworn in on Monday as Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Atupele Muluzi, called for a clear indication on what constitutes the country’s priorities within its goals.
He said the 2014/15 budget should also be drafted in a manner that provides direction on key priorities on the economic front.
“It will, however, be important to see a clearer indication on linkages between prioritised short-term stabilisation actions and timelines with medium to long-term investment actions. Their synergies will be critical too,” said Muluzi.
He called for the promotion of public and private partnerships (PPPs) to maximise the use of limited resources amid adverse economic conditions.
“Government should prioritise on unlocking binding medium-term recovery; this means making ease of doing business better through timely enactment of key legislation. It is also key that there is an obsessive focus on results,” said Muluzi.
PP’s Ralph Jooma urged the new administration to continue with some policies set by the outgoing government while fulfilling some of its campaign manifesto pledges.
On agriculture, he urged for an exit strategy on the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) while on energy he called for continuation of the interconnector project, among others.
“We applaud government for their effort to strengthen and develop financial institutions that will provide trade financing. We would like to encourage government to look into ways that will provide for the accessibility and affordability of capital in this country,” said Jooma.
In the address, Mutharika announced several steps to boost the economy for it to grow on average by 7.5 percent.