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Goodall Gondwe adjusts national budget

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Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe has announced that the 2015/2016 proposed budget has been revised upwards from K901 billion to K930 billion.

Gondwe said this yesterday in Parliament in his winding up statement on the debate on the national budget.

“Mr. Speaker, Sir, I now wish to deal with the modifications on the votes that we will propose to the House during the Committee of Supply. As a result of these modifications, we would propose that the budget be increased from K901 billion to K930 billion,” Gondwe said.

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According to the changes, the Ministry of Education will have an extra K5 billion, public universities will have additional K3 billion, and Ministry of Health an extra K6 billion.

Proposed budget to Ministry of Home Affairs has been increased by K1.5 billion. A vote to Malawi Police Sevice will increase by K2.8 billion while the Judiciary will have an extra K1 billion.

He also announced that Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has been increased from K9 million to K12 million.

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“It is also proposed that we reduce Vote 272 – Local Development Fund by K0.6 billion so as to increase the Constituency Development Fund from K9 million per constituency to K12 million per constituency,” Gondwe said.

He also announced reforms in Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).

He said government plans to issue coupons that will have a face value of K15,000 for a 50 kg bag of fertiliser. He said it is estimated that the final selling prices per such a bag will average at K17,000.

“These coupon values will be applicable for the stated total quantity of fertiliser under the programme. This means that the farmer will have to add an estimated K2,500 per bag for NPK and K1,500 per bag for Urea. It has been calculated that, as far as the fertiliser component of Fisp is concerned, the direct cost to the Government will be around K40 billion after discounting the Filp [Farm Input Loan Programme] stocks, and the total cost to the farmer will be K6 billion,” Gondwe said.

He also said government is discussing with donors their traditional support towards improved maize and legume seed requirements under Fisp.

“Mr. Speaker, Sir, notwithstanding the revision of the budget to K930 billion, I wish to emphasise that some of the expenditures on this budget will only take place when the resources to meet them become available. This is necessary to ensure that we have a balanced budget that meets the requirements of our programme with the IMF,” Gondwe said.

By our press time yesterday, the MPs had passed 12 votes after scrutinising vote by vote allocations.

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