Chairperson of Budget and Finance of Parliament Gladys Ganda has described the mid-term review budget as uncertain and hazy and she has since advised the Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu to be conservative with his projections.
Ganda was speaking on Thursday, March 4,2021 in Parliament when she was responding to the Minister of Finance Mid Term review budget which the Minister premised it on three pillars which are macroeconomic outlook for global, regional and domestic economies; the Fiscal performance in the first half of the 2020/21 Financial year; and the Fiscal outlook to the end of the 2020/21 Financial Year.
Ganda who has vast experience in economics after serving in banking industry for over 20 years has also rattled at President Chakwera wanton misuse of resources at the time the country is passing through torrid times due to covid-19 pandemic.
“On expenditures to Mid-Year, while the Committee welcomes increased absorption in donor funded projects as the main reason for the over expenditure to mid-year, we would like to raise serious concerns on the rise in Generic Goods and Services from K120 billion to K126 billion on account of non COVID-19 core budget lines such as the State Residences which overspent its ORT by K120 million from a projected K3.46 billion to K3.58 billion.
“Office of the President and Cabinet(OPC) which overspent its ORT by K256 million from a projected Mid- Year spending of K4.241 billion to K4.4797 and the Ministry of Youths and Sports which overspent its ORT budget by K25 million from K240.8 million to K265.8 million”, said Ganda who is also Member of Parliament for Nsanje Lalanje.
Ganda also lamented on the reduction of infrastructure development across the country which help to spur the economic activities of every society.
“Madam,Second Deputy Speaker, the Committee further expresses reservations and concerns on the reductions in particular road projects such as the Rumphi- Nyika Turn Off- Hewe Road k2 billion; Lilangwe- Namulumu-/Machinga Road K1.1 billion; Msulira- Nkhotakota Road K1.8 billion and Ntcheu- Tsangano-Mwanza Road K750 million, and that there is no progress on Part 1 for the M1 Road from Kamuzu International Airport to Mzimba Turn-Off,” said Ganda .
The Committee Chairperson also reiterated her concern she raised at the main Budget Statement that the increase in domestic borrowing is very high, rising further from K530.4 billion to K564.4 billion.
“This borrowing is risky, consumptive and overburdening. Not only will this lead to high interest payments in future budgets,it is also crowding out the private sector as well as injecting further liquidity in the financial system which will create more pressure on the exchange rate”,said Ganda.
Ganda has since advised the government to live within its means and retire part of the debt so that fiscal spaces may be created in the future budgets.
Ganda holds a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Malawi (CHANCO) and also holds MBA from the Graduate School of Business University of Cape Town(UNC) and holds other professional papers in managerial and financial matters.