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High expectations ahead of Chithyola Banda’s maiden budget

There are huge expectations from Malawians ahead of this afternoon’s presentation of the proposed 2024/2025 National Budget by Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola Banda, with some expecting that it will be pro-poor while others are fixated on it accommodating a favorable tax regime.

During the previous budget session, the then finance minister had presented a financial blueprint of K3.7 trillion, which was subsequently revised upward to K4.3 trillion at mid-term. This increase stemmed from various factors, including post-cyclone Freddy expenditures and a rise in the wage bill due to the November 44% Kwacha devaluation.

It is anticipated that total expenditure might equally exceed the previous figures, owing to implemented changes such as teacher promotions, increased social cash transfer allocations, procurement of maize and flour due to the prevailing drought conditions.

The preceding budget carried a deficit of 1.3 trillion kwacha, representing about 8.7% of the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Throughout pre-budget consultations, stakeholders in education, health, and the private sector have asked for increased allocations and improved tax regimes, aimed at enhancing government revenue generation while promoting productivity.

 

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