Treasury has recorded a deficit of K73.1 billion in the third quarter (January-March) of this financial year, figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) show.
This deficit is, however, a decline compared to the deficit registered in the first quarter (July to September) and second quarter’s (October to December) of K90.8 billion and K28.2 billion, respectively.
RBM March 2019 Monthly Economic Review shows that in March, Treasury posted a deficit of K41.6 billion, following a deficit of K16.1 billion recorded in February and another deficit of K15.4 billion in January 2019.
The report shows that while total revenues in the month under review registered an increase of K9.1 billion to K96.3 billion compared to a decrease of K5.2 billion in the preceding month, domestic revenue declined by K8.5 billion to K74.3 billion largely due to a decrease in tax collections.
Meanwhile, tax revenue decreased by K8.5 billion to K69.9 billion, while non-tax revenue registered a slight decrease of K18.5 million in the review month to K4.4 billion.
On the other hand, total government expenditures for March 2019 registered an increase of K34.7 billion to K138.0 billion as compared to a decrease of K4.6 billion to K103.3 billion in February 2019.
Catholic University dean of social sciences Gilbert Kachamba said in an interview yesterday that domestic borrowing will not help much in filling holes created by the deficits.
“We just need to intensify other ways of collecting revenue. Our revenue collection system is leaving out a lot of loopholes whereby other people are not paying revenue they are supposed to pay,” he said.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe earlier conceded that the 2018/19 financial year deficit could worsen on account of the World Bank failure to commit K60 billion budget support.