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Members of Parliament hone skills in drafting bills

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Parliament has been challenged to scrutinise bill, thoroughly so that only those that improve the welfare of people are passed into law.

An international regulatory strategist, Nathan Frey, made the remarks on Monday in Mangochi when he made a presentation during a seminar on Better Regulation for Economic Growth for Members of Parliament from Agriculture, Legal and Public Accounts committees of Parliament.

The seminar, which was held with support from Japanese Tobacco International (JTI) group, has been described as crucial, especially coming at a time when Malawi is finalising the drafting of the Tobacco Bill to be presented in Parliament during the forthcoming November sitting of Parliament.

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Frey explained the need for public participation in the legislative and regulatory processes to make sure that framers of laws understand the needs of the people, a thing which he said can help in reducing discontent once the bills are enacted into laws.

“There is need to conduct impact analysis for all laws that have a direct impact on the economy, social or environmental outcomes. This is the trend elsewhere and Malawi needs to adopt these practices to have laws that are accepted by the general public,” he said.

Chairperson for Parliamentary Agriculture Committee, Joseph Malunga, said the workshop was important because it emphasised the need to have laws that are accepted by the public, a thing which enhances social cohesion and respect of the rule of law.

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“Better regulations support initiatives to simplify the law and improve access to it. For a long time, we have been producing tobacco without regulations, therefore this seminar will help us come up with a good piece of legislation that supports both the farmer and the buyer,” Malunga said.

JTI Malawi Corporate Affairs and Communication Director, Harold Musa, said his organisation expects the seminar to strengthen the country’s regulatory capabilities and improve the existing dialogue between private sector and government institutions for the development of more effective regulations.

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