Sunday, May 26, 2024

Minister of Finance Gwengwe says pending national budget critical to achieving national aspirations

Sosten Gwengwe:

The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Hon Sosten Alfred Gwengwe has told the nation that the forthcoming budget is critical as it aims at aligning and achieving national aspirations in macroeconomic targets and debt sustainability among others.

Gwengwe was speaking yesterday when he presided over the 23/24 Pre-budget last consultative meeting at Mzuzu Hotel in the city of Mzuzu.

“In terms of preliminary budget processes, the government has set up the macroeconomic framework for 2023/24 budget that looks at macroeconomic targets such as fiscal and monetary policy measures and most importantly the debt sustainability targets to be achieved by the end of the fiscal year,”  said Gwengwe while revealing that the government spent over K600 billion in paying previous debts.

The Minister told the gathering that his Ministry had always prioritized the need to consult the stakeholders in order to solicit views, contributions, and inputs into the national budget, saying Malawians must look at the budget as a national asset which Malawi as a people should benefit from.

“The budget remains a very important tool in fostering economic prosperity and eradicating poverty, and this can never be underscored.

The budget is the most important national instrument through which public services and other economic activities in the country are implemented for the benefit of all,” said Gwengwe.

Gwengwe in his presentation was quick to admit that the national budget is currently not balanced, the situation he said has been there for the past decades, adding that the MRA’s targeted collection of about K1.5 trillion is far much less to support the national budget rendering the country into heavy borrowing to run its operations.

Hon Gwengwe warned that the country’s continuity with such borrowing will worsen the economy of the country, hence a need to think of how the country can be generating its own resources without being over-reliance on others while being optimistic that the economy of the country will grow by 2.7% in the year 2023.

The Pre-budget consultative meeting in Mzuzu attracted representatives from various sectors like Civil Society Organizations, Church and Society, business, academia, Media Institute, Private Sector, Faith Base Organizations, the Press, and Mzuzu residents among others.


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