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Stop contracting bogus suppliers – DPP

By Lovemore Khomo

Democratic Progressive Party-DPP Finance Spokesperson in Parliament Ralph Jooma has advised government to cut public expenditure by relooking and correcting bogus supply contracts that simply work to benefit very few individuals politically connected to the ruling party.

Jooma was responding to the mid-year budget review statement made at National Assembly on Monday, 19th November 2023.

He observed that huge sums of money that go to these few individuals poses a lot of danger to the economy as this is the money that usually finds its home at the Black Market.

The DPP Finance Spokesperson described government measures to cushion peoples suffering after devaluation as mare lip service.

“It is like commencing a project to build a fire station when fire has already broken out.” The DPP finance spokesperson said then highlighted that the problem is no longer at the monetary side, but it is at the fiscal issue.

“No matter how tight the monetary policy, if the fiscal policy is loose, inflation will remain high and pressure on the exchange rate will persist.” said Jooma.

He added that the stolen and corrupt money is the fuel that drives the black forex market, hence government must plug all leakages of public resources.

Jooma further noted with concern that the rate of Tonse Alliance government borrowing is at 800% more than DPP.

“If borrowing creates fiscal space challenges for subsequent budgets, then Tonse Administration right now is creating insurmountable fiscal challenges for future budgets.” He said

On the other hand, UDF finance spokesperson Ismail Rizzq Mkumba advised government to make radical change in the way it does business with itself, the private sector and the public.

Mkumba expressed the need for government to deliberately give more government business contracts to indigenous Malawians despite their political and regional affiliations, because Malawi will never become financially independent if Malawians remain poor.

“The budget of Malawi depends on the revenue inflows from the same poor people we are keeping poor, at the start of every other financial year we want to increase our tax base, tax rates and lending policy rates – we must do away with the expensive commercial bank lending rates.” said Mkumba.

The opposition parties input comes following Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola Banda unveiled a revised 2023/24 National Budget on Monday which has moved from K3.79 trillion to K4.33 trillion.

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