Lilongwe, National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) has called upon councils to make prudent estimates of revenue and expenditure for their councils as they prepare for the 2020/21 budget.
NLGFC Executive Director, Alifeyo Banda made the remarks recently during the commencement of budget reviews and hearing meetings with individual local councils across the country.
Banda said in line with its constitutional mandate, NLGFC conducts such yearly hearings as a measure to provide room for clarifications and technical directions to councils.
This is done before submission to the NLGFC for consolidation.
The consolidated budgets are presented by the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in Parliament for legislators noting.
Banda said NLGFC would, through the sessions, ensure that all council budgets conform to the guidelines that were provided during budget briefing sessions which took place earlier in the year.
According to Banda, there are a number of aspects that have to be taken into account in the councils’ 2020/21 budgets. These include realistic local revenue estimates and alignment of budgets with national and sectoral policies.
Other considerations are appropriate allocations to various functions of the councils such as audit functions, clearing salary arrears for direct employees, PAYE arrears, related council debts and IFIMIS infrastructure.
The local councils were also encouraged to take appropriate revenue enhancement measures to ensure they collect realistic revenue for their operations.
The review for the 35 council budgets will take five days and is expected to lead to a consolidated Local Authority Program Based Budget for 2020/21 financial year for the national assembly budget deliberations.