In the Statement the Education, Science and Technology sector which has been allocated K235 billion-an equivalent of 18.1 percent of the budget-has had the highest budgetary allocation.
The second largest allocation is in the Agriculture Sector that amounts to K192.0 billion, an equivalent of 15.5 percent of the total budget. Health with an allocation of K129.0 billion which is 9.9 percent of total budget is the third largest.
According to the statement, Government has also withdrawn Tax on milk, increased the income tax free threshold from MK20, 000 to Mk30, 000 per month, and also introduced a 10 percent excise tax on TV Subscriptions fees.
Presenting the Statement, Gondwe said that this year’s budget has been designed to be implemented within the context of international, regional and domestic, economic developments.
He said the recent resumption of the World Bank budgetary support, the expected confirmation by the IMF that Malawi is on track in its pursuance of fiscal management reforms as well as the pending European Union’s resumption of budgetary support, are all welcome signs of international confidence in what the country has achieved, economically, so far.
“I will be the first to admit that we still have a lot to do to perfect economic management and certainly the economy still requires careful handling. Financial resources are still scarce. In the circumstances a careless use of resources can easily reverse the rebound. I also admit that we yet have a lot to do to adopt basic sound fiscal management practices as needed to routinize bank reconciliations,” said Gondwe.
Gondwe also announced that in the budget, government has allocated funds for the resumption of the Nsanje World Inland Port project.
In her quick reaction to the budget statement,United State of America (USA) Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer said she was impressed.
Palmer however said there was need for the country to safeguard the positive strides it has realized in the economy.
“Malawi needs to be congratulated for getting inflation rate down and the currency stabilization under control. Otherwise, am very impressed with the budget,” said Palmer.
Financial spokespersons for oppositions Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP) are expected to respond to the budget statement on Monday.