Opposition spokesperson on Finance Joseph Mwanamvekha Monday described the 2020/21 national budget as consumptive, unfriendly to the business sector, unrealistic, overburdening in debts and total loss to Malawians.
Reacting to the Mid-Year Budget Statement which Finance Minister Felix Mlusu presented on Friday, Mwanamvekha said the budget had nothing to offer to the ordinary citizen.
He said the budget was “off track” because it had missed both revenue and expenditure targets.
The former Finance minister said, instead of collecting domestic revenue of K600 billion during the first six months of the year, tax collectors only brought K564billion into their net, representing a shortfall of K36 billion.
“While on the expenditure side, instead of spending K975 billion, it spent K998.5 billion representing an increase of almost K 24 billion, resulting in net borrowing of approximately K30 billion as at end of December 2020.
“Furthermore, instead of borrowing K266.3 billion at the end of the first half, this government borrowed K350.9 billion, of which K304 billion was borrowed locally, thereby overcrowding the private sector,” Mwanamvekha said.
He observed that Malawians had lost out, in the budget, on Tonse Alliance campaign promises, which included a reduction in passport fees to K14,000.
However, Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda, who is also Homeland Security Minister, said the Tonse Administration was failing to slash fees for passports to K14,000 because the DPP administration entered into a deal with a company he did not disclose to supply 800,000 passports at $60 million.
This, according to Chimwendo Banda, commits the new administration to the deal and makes the implementation of the K14,000 passport fee extremely difficult under the current circumstances.