MPs implored on budget scrutiny
Oxfam and other non-state actors offering oversight on public finance management have urged Parliament to be radical in their scrutiny of the 2023- 24 national budget.
The other entities are Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance, Malawi Economic Justice Network, Malawi Health Equity Network, Civil Society Agriculture Network, Youth and Society as well as Development Communication Trust.
In a joint statement, the organisations recommend enhanced domestic resources mobilisation.
The statement further emphasises the need for serious steps towards debt restructuring and full commitment towards public debt management.
“Oxfam appeals to the government to get fully committed to debt restructuring negotiations with the Bretton Woods institutions and other external creditors so that Capital Hill does not run the risk of becoming a defaulter.
“Oxfam and partners recommend, through the clusters, that the 2023-24 national budget supports an overhaul of the programme by capacitating and using cooperatives with smallholder purchasing power, and fully supporting and investing in the megafarms initiative,” the statement reads.
Presenting the budget in Parliament on Thursday, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe said, to align with the treatment of other incomes such as income from businesses, the government is removing the 40 percent income bracket in the Pay As You Earn.
On debt restructuring, Gwengwe said the government already engaged its external commercial creditors and is now engaging its bilateral creditors, notably China and India, for a possible debt treatment.