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Ecama wants consistent budget implementation

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Sosten Gwengwe

“We would like to recommend that for the coming budget, when there is a need for government to reduce expenditure, a comprehensive analysis is done to reduce the impact on the economy,” Chikuta said. The economist also warned against rushed decisions by Capital Hill in the budget implementation process, citing the lakeshore conferences’ ban for civil servants which ended up hurting the tourism industry.

The Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) has asked the government to be consistent with the way it implements the national budget.

Ecama Executive Director Frank Chikuta was speaking when he presented his organisation’s input into the 2023-24 national budget in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

According to Chikuta, policy reversals in the middle of budget implementation have proven to have disastrous consequences to some sectors of the economy.

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The economists’ chief also warned authorities against rushing to freeze recruitment of civil servants every time the budget faces hiccups.

This, according to Chikuta, only complicates the situation even further because it compromises public service delivery by the government because of the many vacancies created in government.

“We would like to recommend that, for the coming budget, when there is a need for government to reduce expenditure, a comprehensive analysis is done to reduce the impact on the economy,” Chikuta said.

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The economist also warned against rushed decisions by Capital Hill in the budget implementation process, citing the lakeshore conferences’ ban for civil servants which ended up hurting the tourism industry.

Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe said his ministry is only soliciting views during pre-budget consultation meetings and would not be drawn to comment on the contributions from various sectors.

Gwengwe said a team of experts from Treasury will sit down and review as to which contributions should be taken on board in the coming budget and which ones could be considered later.

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