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Experts weigh in on budget consultations

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Lorraine Nyasulu

As Treasury continues soliciting views to be incorporated into the 2020/21 budget, stakeholders fear the process might not be effective.

This year, the Ministry of Finance is using the traditional face to face means of soliciting the view due to Coronavirus outbreak.

Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) president, Francis Gondwe, said Monday that the institution is yet to make its submissions for consideration.

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He, however said use of letters might have challenges in terms of clirifing some ideas when need rises.

“We would have loved meeting face to face so that we can defend those proposals but under the circumstances, we do not have a choice and should the minister have questions, he will get in touch so that we can clarify these proposals,” Gondwe said.

In a separate interview, Economics Association of Malawi president, Lorraine Nyasulu, said the outbreak has left them with no choice but to present their ideas through letters.

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She indicated that it may not be the same as in the past years but people should still utilise the opportunity.

“Honestly, it may not be the same but the fact that they have still opened up to suggestions, it is a step in the right direction and what will be needed is follow ups with treasury to see what is being done and open minds of communication to seek clarification if need be,” Nyasulu said.

Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) applauded the government for still considering taking the stakeholders’ views despite the tough environment.

Cama Executive Director, John Kapito, said that even if the ministry called for a face to face meeting, few people would show up because of the Covid-19 fears.

The pandemic which has killed thousands and infected 1.6 million people globally has killed 2 people in Malawi out of the 13 infected as of April 13.

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