Budget changed again
Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has said having carefully followed the debate on the midterm budget statement he delivered in the House about two weeks ago, government has decided to reduce the budget passed in June last year by K21.7 billion, not K23.7 billion.
According to a mid-term budget statement Gondwe delivered in the House, the national budget has been reduced from the initial K929.7 billion to K908 billion.
Gondwe announced the change on Monday in his winding up speech to the debate on the statement he delivered on February 26 this year.
“In conclusion, I would like to inform the House that as a result of the budget debate that has just been concluded, we have produced a corrigendum of Annex III from which you will see that K2 billion that was removed from public universities and have recasted the PE [Personal Emoluments] where you will [see] that the votes have their allocation changed accordingly,” Gondwe said.
However, despite the concerns raised by MPs to increase in allocations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Gondwe justified the increment.
“Meanwhile, as most members particularly were concerned with the additional resources to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, I should explain that the increase is solely due to the fact that most of the vote has to be used in foreign currencies and in view of the exchange rate depreciation, the value in kwacha as reflected in the budget has increased proportionately. However expenditures at the headquarters etc remain unchanged,” Gondwe said.
The vote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been increased from K13.4 billion to K15.1 billion.
Meanwhile the MPs have approved allocation to National Audit Office (K1.4 billion), Judiciary (K5.7 billion) and Assets Declaration (K431.6 million).
Scrutiny of votes to State Residences, National Assembly and Office of the President and Cabinet has been deferred.
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