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2024-2025 National Budget pegged at K5.98 Trillion

Simplex Chithyola Banda arrives at Parliament

By Lovemore Khomo

Minister of Finance Simplex Chithyola Banda on Friday afternoon has presented a 2024.2025 national budget pegged at K5,98 trillion representing 31.9 percent of Gross Domestic Product – GDP.

The Health and Population sector has a lion’s share of K729.47 billion, representing 12.2 percent of the total national budget, seconded by the agriculture which has got K497.75 billion, representing 8.3 percent of the total budget while the education has been allocated over K200 billion.

Chithyola Banda justified the health sector budget share saying government wants to implement what ‘key’ projects including completion of the cancer centre, construction of Dowa and Rumphi district Hospitals, feasibility study for the construction of Chikwawa Hospital, Malawi Emergency project to protect essential Health Services and Malawi Covid 19 Emergency Response.

“Of the total expenditure, recurrent expenses are estimated at K4.21 trillion, representing 22.5 percent of GDP and 70.4 percent of total expenditure.” Explained Chithyola Banda.

Affordable Input Programme – AIP has got K161.2 billion which aims to complement the other existing initiatives that strive for the attainment of national food self-sufficiency.

ADMARC allocated K40 billion, while K12 billion has gone to National Food Reserve to replenish the staple food reserves.

“From the total of K260.26 billion projected to help 4.4 million food insecure Malawians, the government and development partners have been able to mobilize K151.96 billion.

The distribution of relief maize flour to vulnerable households facing hunger will commence soon, announced Minister of Finance Simplex Chithyola Banda.” He said

At least, 23,000 metric tonnes of maize flour will be distributed across the country after government, through the AGCOM project, procured the maize flour from the World Food Program (WFP).

WFP has officially handed over the maize flour worth $20 million to the Malawi government for distribution.

Chithyola Banda also announced increase of Constituency Development Fund – CDF

There was jubilation when the minister told the august house that Constituency Development Fund – CDF has been increased from K100 million to K200 million.

The Finance Minister reported that towards December 2023, import cover improved to 2.7 months.

On other developments, government plans to construct Gwanda Chakwamba School of Excellence with allocation of K500 million from the coffers and will in March commence Salima Lilongwe water project which intends to supply water to Lilongwe and surrounding shall support over a two million residents.

Commenting on the budget statement, EU Ambassador to Malawi Rune Skinnebach has said implementation is key whenever the statement has been presented.

Skinnebach however said government is in a very tight place  as it will need to carefully strike balance of the budget to ensure that different developmental sectors got allocated a share.

“There also be a pressure on government because of preparations on upcoming elections next year, so there is need to tread it carefully.” He said

Nonetheless, the EU ambassador promised to support government in whatever development want to be implemented.

In her reaction, Programmes Officer for Malawi Economic Justice Network – MEJN, Bertha Phiri commended the Minister for including Mining advancements in the country trough establishment of Malawi Mining Company.

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