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Industry speaks on economic recovery

VOLATILE—Debt levels

Williams Banda

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has urged the Treasury to avoid excess borrowing and enhance prudence in fiscal management to build resilience as a step towards recovery of the economy in the face of Covid-19

The industry captains have asked the government to prioritise the health and agriculture sectors on its recovery path.

A business brief published by the Chamber Wednesday, indicates that a stable macroeconomic foundation registered in recent years is under threat and the economy stands to suffer from the potential negative spillover effects.

Among other things MCCCI suggests that the government should focus on manage spending line and ensure recurrent expenditure is within budgeted levels.

“Government should identify areas that can easily be forgone to improve revenues. There is need to reduce off workplace meetings, unnecessary trips, among others.

In the brief, the Chamber singled out agriculture, manufacturing and wholesale and retail sectors as top three contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) which also employ a huge portion of the labour force and requires special attention.

It says the government must also commit to addressing the long standing problem of electricity supply.

This comes at a time the World Bank has also urged countries to take steps to rebuild economies from the Covid-19 pandemic.

A statement from the Bretton Woods’ institution urged countries to secure core public services, getting money directly to people and maintaining the private sector as enabling factors to limit the harm and help prepare economies for recovery.

In an interview Wednesday, Treasury spokesperson, Williams Banda, said the issues raised are pertinent and the ministry is already working on them.

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