Clusters ask for power on budget
The Public Accounts and Budget and Finance Cluster (PABFC) of Parliament has been angered by cuts of budget allocations to some institutions and has since prayed to be given powers enabling it to effect changes to allocations.
PABFC Chairperson Shadreck Namalomba said this in Parliament Tuesday, when clusters presented their reports on the 2021/22 National Budget.
Among other critical areas, the committee indicated that downward adjustments to the National Audit Office (Nao)’s budget had the possibility of affecting its operations and hinder the government’s efforts of “clearing the rubble”.
Nao’s allocation has been cut by 42 percent, from K633.6 billion in the 2020-21National Budget to K337.5 billion in the 2021-22 National Budget.
“If National Audit Office budget is tremendously cut like this, how, then, do we ensure the protection of the resources in the increased budget?” Namalomba queried.
The cluster also decried funding cuts to the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development—from the required K6.5 billion to K2.9 billion—and Financial Intelligence Authority, which has suffered a 32.8 percent cut,
On its part, the Agriculture and Natural Resources Cluster (ANRC) raised concern that, while the Ministry of Mining had not issued a licence to any person or company mining gold in the country, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) was buying gold.
ANRC Chairperson Werani Chilenga asked RBM to stop buying gold, claiming that it was buying from unlicenced miners.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.