20% budget lost through corruption
The Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament has said studies have revealed that 20 percent of the national budget is lost through corruption.
Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament Chairperson Gladys Ganda was speaking at the end of the National Development Conference held in Lilongwe last week.
“So, every time we are passing the budget, just know that 20 percent of it is lost to corruption. That is how bad corruption is in the country,” Ganda said.
With Malawi’s budget at K2.85 trillion, the development means about K570 billion could go down the drain due to corruption.
Ganda attributed the situation to, among other things, weak oversight of the budget by Parliament because of poor funding of parliamentary committees which cripples budget tracking operations.
She suggested that to effectively play the oversight role, Parliament be allocated a percentage of the anticipated revenue to be collected by Malawi Revenue Authority which would help it better plan for its activities.
“As things are at the moment, we go and kneel and beg,” Ganda said.
On improving budget effectiveness and making sure that it works to actualise the first 10-year Malawi Implementation Plan (MIP1), Ganda suggested the depoliticisation of the financial plan by having an independent body which would look at the budget and its alignment to the long-term development goals before the budget is discussed in Parliament.
Closing the conference, Minister of Trade, Simplex Chithyola Banda, said the government is committed to providing the necessary resources to ensure that the MIP1 is actualised.
“However, we still need all of you to contribute towards financing MIP-1 as the national budget alone is not adequate,” Chithyola Banda said.