MCP told Parliament these measures have grounded the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public service.
Responding to Finance and Development Planning Minister Dr. Ken LipengaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statement delivered last Friday, MCP spokesperson on finance Joseph Njobvuyalema urged government to start a process of reconstructing the overall budget and regaining donorsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ budget support to save the economy from complete fall down.
Said Njobvuyalema: “The budget has been changed from a total expenditure of K303 billion [about $1.8 billion] to K299 billion [about $1.79 billion], eliminating the budget surplus which was a strange phenomenon. How on earth did government expect to achieve a surplus when projects have stopped or slowed down in their implementation?”
He said government has this year failed to rehabilitate the Nsanje District Hospital which was allocated K100 million (about $598 802) and failed to construct a new prison to replace Maula Prison in Lilongwe which, he said, was allocated K400 million (about $2.4 million); among other development projects.
“Why should government boast and say that recurrent expenditures have underperformed at K120 billion [about $718.6 million], instead of K127 billion [about $76.04 million]? The truth is that government has stopped public service delivery. Government is making savings by starving the people of development projects,” said Njobvuyalema.
He said it was not logical for government to claim that it has underspent by about K7 billion (about $41.9 million) when some civil servants are failing to get their salaries and allowances
Njobvuyalema observed that budget support from donors, especially the Common Approach to Budget Support (Cabs) group, has in the past given government freedom to use the money with discretion.
On devaluation, he said government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should approach the issue of with a give-and-take spirit.
UDF spokesperson on finance Alfred Mwechumu also said it was hard for government to continue implementing the budget without the support of donors.