Some stakeholders have committed to submit fresh input to the Treasury for consideration into the 2020/21 National Budget following a call from new Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu.
Just a month ago, the institutions gave their views to the then finance minister, Joseph Mwanamvekha, who did a similar exercise for a budget which was discarded days after its presentation to Parliament.
Window for fresh submissions into the next budget was opened yesterday and would be closed on July 17.
But other commentators feel the process is redundant.
Economists Association of Malawi president, Lauryn Nyasulu, said yesterday that while some of the contributions made earlier remain valid, the new government might have new approach.
“As much as not much time has elapsed and most contributions may remain valid, we should expect some new things in the budget so it is still important for us to contribute,” Nyasulu said.Advertisement
In a separate interview, ICT Association of Malawi president, Bram Fudzulani, also said his institution would re-submit its views.
Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) also committed to put extra views to a write up it made earlier.
Ecam General Secretary, George Khaki, said the next input will incorporate cautionary measures to Covid-19 pandemic as the initial suggestions were made when impact of the pandemic was minimal.
Among other suggestions made, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) asked the government to consider reducing the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate from the current 16.5 percent to 12 percent.
Icam says the move would encourage consumer spending to stimulate the economy and business.
In its earlier submitted input, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce said the private sector expects full support by the government on energy generation initiatives by among other things improving governance in Escom to ensure that resources from increased tariffs are used for intended purposes.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Williams, Banda said apart from soliciting fresh views, the consultations would accord an opportunity to institutions and individuals who did not submit their views.
“Other stakeholders did not have enough time to write or send an email or call so we could not shut them off and others may have missed other areas for supplementary views,” Banda explained.
Last week, Mlusu presented a K722.4 billion provisional four-month budget to Parliament.
Justin Mkweu is a fast growing reporter who currently works with Times Group on the business desk.
He is however flexible as he also writes about current affairs and national issues.