Minister of finance and economic development Goodal Gondwe said this in parliament when he presented a statement on the country's economic status.
In the statement, Gondwe outlined a number of short term plans that government has set aside to resume economic normality. Gondwe said the devaluation of Kwacha and donor withdrawal from direct budgetary support which was followed by a catastrophic weather condition early this year, contributed to the country's economic hardships.
Presenting the statement the minister said government has set aside plans to achieve macro-economic stability of the country. He highlighted some of the factors that led to country’s economic turmoil as the 49 percent devaluation of Kwacha and the withdrawal of direct budgetary support due to cashgate have negatively affected the country.
’The catastrophic and unfavorable weather conditions were a blow to the country’s economy with a lot of property damaged even the produce from smallholder farmers who feed the nation,’ added the Minister.
On how the country intends to progress and improve the economy, Gondwe said government is implementing various measures including the need to reduce budget expenditure, prudent use of funds and stringent discipline use of resources.
‘Government will promote public finance management program which is aimed at installing fiscal discipline in the public sector. We in government are working
on fulfilling 20 conditionalties that were given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union to resume aid to the country,’ said Gondwe.
On agriculture the statement said government will enhance expansion of legume production to increase rural income and significantly reduce poverty.
’Mr. Speaker sir legume crops are cash crops that generate income for the rural masses and increasing production of the same will generate more income for farmers as they may export,’ the Minister added.
He further said there are safety net measures put in place for the rural masses who will work for 20 days to get K600 in public works program. Gondwe said this year people will plant trees near river banks and K9 billion has been put aside for the program.
The Minister of Finance then concluded by assuring people in the country that Malawi has an equal chance to improve its economic performance if all people work together in one spirit. Earlier in the day the house referred back to the Media and Communications Committee an Electronic Transaction Bill for further scrutiny.
This is a bill that seeks to regulate all electronic transactions such as online publications by among others protecting data. The Electronic transaction Bill was presented in the National Assembly by Information Minister Jappie Mhango. The Minister says the Bill is important as it will provide a legal framework that will assist in data protection.
While welcoming the bill as a move in the right direction, spokespersons from the opposition said there are a number of areas that need to be ironed out. The Minister has since agreed to have the bill sent for further scrutiny.