Economic experts have urged the Treasury to start exploring a provisional budget following parliament’s decision to prioritise electoral reforms and setting a date for fresh presidential election.
An initial announcement made by Speaker of Parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara, indicates that the 2020/2021 budget presentation will take place at 9:30 am on Friday.
Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) president, Lauryn Nyasulu, said it is important for Parliament to resolve the elections issue sooner in order to give the budget the attention it deserves.
“The option for a provisional budget remains a viable on. However, the challenge is that such budgets are intended to allow continuation of Government operations. Implementation of government programs gets delayed and this affects economic performance,” Nyasulu said.
Polytechnic economics lecturer, Betchani Tcheleni, said in a separate interview that a provisional budget may not be necessary, saying if there is going to be any delay, it may be only a week.
“In any case, the government will have to be sure that salaries are paid and so much essential services such as health and education among others,” Tchereni said.
UK-based Malawian economist, Sane Zuka, said he expects political uncertainty continues affecting economic outlook.
Spokesperson in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Williams Banda, played down the fear.
“There is no need for a provisional budget considering that once the budget is presented it will be passed by June 30th,” Banda said.