Economic stakeholders have asked Parliament to deliberate on clear pathways to attain economic recovery during the upcoming meeting slated for next month.
Communication from the Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba, we have seen, indicates that the 6th meeting in the 49th session of Parliament will run from July 18 up to August 12 this year.
Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) Executive Director Frank Chikuta said even though the agenda is yet to be known, Malawians want Parliament to come up with a clear path on how the economy will be revived.
“Recent developments point to the fact that the budget may not be sustainable in view of the current economic problems; therefore, people expect to have a clear path on how the country will proceed,” Chikuta said.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira said the country needs laws that should trigger economic growth, which the chamber expects should be the centre of deliberations.
Kaferapanjira gave an example of the Interest Rate Capping Bill as policies that should be advanced in the meeting for the benefit of the economy.
“Ideas from the MPs will really assist at this time and we need industries that should produce what we consume. Therefore, as businesses, we need affordable financing and other proposals that should spur the local economy,” Kaferapanjira said.
Economist from the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences Betchani Tchereni said he expects Parliament to pass bills that will bring foreign currency, discuss the challenges at Admarc and make amendments to Pay As You Earn tax.
He further said Parliament should take another look at the austerity measures that were implemented and fast-track processes on curbing corruption.
“MPs should ask important questions about industrialisation in Malawi because we are not seeing a lot from that side. Therefore, members of Parliament should take this up and put pressure on it so that industrialisation materialises,” Tchereni said.
Both Minister of finance Sosten Gwengwe and the ministry’s public relations officer Taurai Banda were not available for a comment on the matter before we went to press.
The economy has been sailing through turbulent waters and missing economic growth targets, witnessed by rising cost of living, which is also reflected on rising inflation.
Interest rates have also been on the rise, reciprocating changes in the policy rate.