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Revised K1.8 trillion Budget passes

Parliament Thursday authorised K1.8 trillion as the revised budget for the remaining four months of the 2019/2020 financial year.

Minister of Finance, Joseph Mwanamvekha, presented the budget on February 21 2020, increasing it from K1.7 trillion to K1.8 trillion.

Revised estimates of expenditure on recurrent and development accounts for the financial year indicate that Malawi Police Service has an increased allocation from K54.3billion to K76.9 billion.

Mwanamvekha said part of billions allocated have been set aside to facilitate procurement of public order equipment, food ratios and uniforms.

Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec)’s budget has been allocated an addition of K29. 5 billion, including funds earmarked to support the fresh presidential election slated for May 19 2020.

The august House approved K13.4 billion, up from K11.4 billion for Judiciary with K450 million as a cost of Constitutional Court election case.

The revised budget has reduced allocation to Human Resource Management and Development from K45.8 billion to K 2.6 billion.

Mwanamvekha said the change is due to devolution in local councils which include human resource management.

Roads Fund Administration’s allocation has been increased by K10.8 billion, on the initial K83.7 billion.

This, according to Ministry of Finance, will help the government, through Ministry of Transport and Public Works and Roads Authority, to maintain roads that have been rendered impassable due to heavy rains.

The House has maintained funds allocated to the Office of the Vice-President pegged at K5 billion.

After passing the budget, Mwanamvekha said the government had noted all observations made in the House.

“The passing of the budget will help us implement development projects, we have put in place. It will also allow us if, indeed, we shall have elections, to fund it even though it is not enough. But like I said, we have received support from donors but we will get complete commitments in due course,” he said.

Budget and Finance Chairperson, Sosten Gwengwe, said the major highlight of the budget is that Mec has funds for the fresh presidential election.

“Now, there is no uncertainty of whether we have a budget that has or not funds for Mec. The minister has tried his level best to contain the expenditures. The cost overruns have been minimised. Yes, the deficit has increased but it is on account of other developments,” he said.

Earlier, Public Accounts Committee Chairperson, Ken Kandodo, asked the government to put Mec Chief Elections Officer bank account under Integrated Financial Management System for easy checks and balances.

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