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‘Consumption culture hindering development’

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Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, has hit on Malawians who are steeped in consumption rather than production arguing this is a culture that is hindering the country’s economic development.

Gondwe’s sentiments come at a time when the 2015 National Human Development Report that was launched on Tuesday in Lilongwe fingered the countries failure to attain inclusive economic growth due to lack of participation.

“Consumption might be regarded as right in church but not on economic growth. Instead of somebody consuming what others have produced everybody should be able to produce and consume,” he said.

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The report focuses on the productive employment that ensures that workers reap the benefits of the rising productivity.

“Human development concept approach says people irrespective of their socio economic status, gender, et al should have fair opportunities to contribute to growth and become part of the growth process” reads part of the report.

United Nations Development Programme Country Representative Mia Seppo said many studies have shown Malawi’s growth inequalities.

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She said there is need for the country to consider ways of how to inclusive growth.

“The report shows that richest population in Malawi has average income per capital nine times higher that of the poorest.

However some Members of Parliament took a swipe on government programmes such as the Malata and Farm Input Subsidy Programme which they said fuels laziness among many Malawians.

Others also blamed government’s failure to implement a backload of policies that are currently trapped with dust in some ministry shelves.

Member of Parliament for Dedza East constituency who is also chairperson of the Health Committee in Parliament, Julian Lunguzi said if inclusive growth and poverty reduction is toe attained such programmes needs to be reviewed.

“We have too many subsidies that are doing injustice to us. For example the fertiliser subsidy we have all agreed that it’s good to go to commercial farming in regards to climate change and in that way everybody will benefit,” she said.

Member of Parliament for Salima Central Felix Jumbe also concurred with Lunguzi attributing social cash transfers as programmes that only promote over reliance.

The report recommends the country to desist from depoliticising public service provision, ensure transparency and accountability of the services and continued engagement of citizens throughout various developments

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