Finance Minister to present a provisional budget for government business

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by  Morton Sibale

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Lilongwe, All eyes will be at the National Assembly on Tuesday as the house is expected to discuss and pass a provisional budget beginning 1 July.

Newly appointed leader of the House, Richard Chimwendo Banda confirmed that the newly appointed Minister of Finance, Felix Mlusu will present to the house a provisional budget to cater for Government business in the interim as the new administration works on a full budget.

Chimwendo said since Government fiscal year ends on June 30, Government will seek the House’s approval of expenditure in the absence of an annual budget beginning Wednesday, July 1.

“Tomorrow is the final day of the 2019/2020 fiscal year and we need the house to authorize spending beginning 1 July as Government cannot spend without the approval of the House. As such, the Minister of Finance will present a provisional statement requesting the House to approve spending in the interim as they continue to work on the full annual budget,” Banda said.

However, Banda could not be drawn to reveal the period that the provisional budget will run, saying the Finance Minister will have all the details.

“The Minister’s statement will reveal such details as the period and the areas that will be covered in the provisional budget. Our expectation is that the House will pass the budget as we have a duty to ensure continued service delivery to the nation,” he said.

However, in an interview with Zodiak Radio after taking Oath of Office, Mlusu hinted that the interim budget will run for 3 months.

“Of course the new administration would want to emphasize on its priority areas that is why we are coming up with a provisional budget to give us time to review and prepare the annual budget. For now, we will come up with a budget to cover us for the next three months,” Mlusu said.

Three weeks ago, Finance Minister in the DPP administration, Joseph Mwanamvekha presented to the House the 2020/2021 annual budget which was pegged as K2.2 trillion. The budget was undergoing a cluster level review at the time the House last adjourned.

However, with the change in administration following the election of Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the former opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), it is expected that the new Finance Minister will present a new budget at the end of the provisional budget.

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