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Parliament passes K1.7 trillion Budget

Members of Parliament (MPs) Thursday passed the 2019/2020 national budget pegged at K1.7 trillion.

The budget, whose nominal value in terms of total expenditure is K1.7 trillion, represents 27.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The budget has increased by 20.1 percent from the 2018/2019 preliminary outcome of K1.4 trillion.

Before passing the budget, the MPs in the morning, passed 11 votes of the budget.

The legislators have passed the provision of slightly over K13.8 billion to Transport and Public Works Ministry and K4 billion for Roads Authority.

The MPs also approved the provision of K100 million to Human Rights Commission and K4 billion to Malawi Electoral Commission.

An allocation of over K17 billion was approved for the National Assembly.

The lawmakers spent more time deliberating on a vote for the approval of funds for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Ministry.

The MPs then passed an allocation of K39 billion to the ministry.

Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister, Joseph Mwanamvekha, said he was happy that the House had approved the budget, his first since he was appointed months ago.

“I am happy, excited and humbled with this support. This is my first budget and I was not sure of what was to happen but I am happy,’’ he said.

Mwanamvekha said most of the votes did not change apart from an addition of K90 million to the Office of the Ombudsman and K30 million to Malawi Prison Services.

But Mwanamvekha said the additions have not changed the budget.

Interim leader of opposition Lobin Lowe said they were happy that the budget has been passed but said the only worry was the allocation of finances to construction of stadiums to Nyasa Big Bullets and Mighty Forward Wanderers which are private entities.

“We are happy that the budget is finally passed because that is the only priority we had in the House. The only worry is that we were defeated on the allocation to Ministry of Youth for the construction of the stadiums. However, because it was bulldozed, we could not do otherwise,” he said.

The House will rise sine die today.

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