"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

search antimuluzi.blogspot.com

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Malawi economic growth for the 2009 expected to be higher than any experienced since independence to 2004" - Finance Minister

President Bingu wa Mutharika Monday said that he
has survived since 2004 despite attempts to bring him down because ‘God
is on the side of the government’.

In his state-of-the-nation address on opening of the 2008/09 budget
meeting titled "Malawi: A Nation of Achievers", Mutharika said that God
had been on the side of the government despite lack of support and a
hostile attitude from the opposition.

In his address which started at 10.05 am and ended exactly two hours
later, Mutharika took stock of his achievements in the areas of
agricultural development, food security, public sector reforms,
industry and trade, transport, infrastructure and public works, health,
education, empowerment of women and children, justice and rule of law.

Mutharika, however, did not comment on recent developments on the
political scene such as the on-going Section 65 versus budget impasse
or the arrests of nine people mostly, from opposition UDF, on treason

Mutharika said in general opposition had wanted his government to fail from the day he took over office in May, 2004.

"For instance, it is on record that the opposition tried to reject the
national budget for each year in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007,” he said.

Mutharika disclosed that with his administration's leadership, the
country's maize exports for 2007/08 are estimated at 2.9 million tones,
down from 3.2 million from last year.

"So we expect maize surplus of 500,000 tonnes. There have also been
increases in production in other essential food and cash crops such as
tobacco, cassava, rice and cotton," Mutharika said.

The president also pledged that his government would continue with the
fertiliser and input subsidy programme despite increase in prices of
fertiliser on the international market and reiterated that the subsidy
would again not target everybody.

Mutharika also disclosed that development of Nsanje City is expected to
commence next month under the ‘build operate transfer arrangement’ with
the private sector.

He also said feasibility study on Shire-Zambezi waterway would be
conducted as soon as proposals for the study of the project are

While saying government plans to implement a quick impact reforms
programme to improve performance of public institutions, Mutharika
disclosed that a study done by government had recommended a reduction
in the number of parastatals through either merging or absorbing
subvented organisations into line ministries.

"Mr Speaker, Sir, during the 2007/08 financial year, a reasonable
number of parastatals achieved some fair levels of profitability. These
include Escom, Macra, Tobacco Control Commission, Southern Region Water
Board, ADL, Malawi Bureau of Standards, MHC and Malawi College of
Accountancy," he said.

Parastatals that continued to register poor financial performances were
the usual culprits such as Blantyre and Lilongwe Water Boards, Air
Malawi, Northern and Central Region waterboards, Admarc and Malawi
Posts Corporation.

In the next financial year, institutions being considered for quick
impact performance reviews include the Immigration department,
Administrator General and the judiciary.

In the area of health, especially drugs and medical supplies, Mutharika
disclosed that the Central Medical Stores is undergoing reforms to
establish it as an operation trust.

Among his economic achievements, Mutharika cited debt relief under
HIPC, resumption of programmes under IMF, economic growth of 7.9 per
cent in 2007/08 fiscal year and qualification for the compact programme
of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) of the United States

On this, Mutharika said the government had already appointed a
coordination team for the programme, which entails more funding under

In an interview outside, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe said
economic growth for the 2009 was expected to be higher than any
experienced since independence to 2004.

"We have had unprecedented economic achievements this year. For example
exports have gone as high as K700 million this year and this year we
expect them to go up K800 million. The forecast is that it will pass
the K1 billion mark in 2009," Gondwe said.

Gondwe is expected to issue his budget statement soon after responses
to Mutharika's state-of-the nation address are exhausted but not later
than seven days.

No comments: