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

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Malawi private sector hails 2008/09 budget

Economic and civil society commentators have
commended the 2008/09 budget and described it as major possible tool
that would enable the country to move to prosperity.

Press Corporation Limited (PCL) Group Chief Executive officer and
former Finance Minister Matthews Chikaonda said in an interview
yesterday the 2008/2009 budget is well balanced and that it will spur
local and international investment.

Chikaonda said PCL, the largest conglomerate in the country, has had
huge investment plans that will benefit from the removal of taxes in
the manufacturing and construction sectors.

"It is a win/win situation. Government will get more taxes with
expanded investments, while we will increase production. Malawi
Telecommunications Limited has a US$24 million expansion project along
the lakeshore. The same with TNM and even Maldeco on the removal of
aquaculture duties that will take our catch to almost 1,000 tonnes,"
said Chikaonda outside Parliament.

Malawi Economic Justice Network (Mejn) executive director Andrew
Kumbatira said his organisation is impressed with the increased social
sector allocations by almost 60 percent.

Kumbatira also cited efforts by government in the 2008/09 budget to
ensure that it is strongly aligned to the Malawi Growth and Strategy
Paper (MGDS)—a national strategy designed to accelerate the country’s
sustainable economic growth.

Supporting Kumbatira’s sentiments, president for the Society for
Accountancy in Malawi (Socam) Daniel Dunga said as Socam they are happy
to observe that some of the issues that the private sector asked during
the pre-budget consultative by the Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe now
have been addressed in the 2008/09 budget.

"Basically, we wanted changes in the private sector especially to do
with the Value Added Tax (VAT) duties. We hope that with this budget
addressing the issues that we needed, Malawi will now be in a position
to create a conducive business environment," said Dunga.

He also commended government for subsidising agricultural
pesticides, saying the move would help the country to continue
achieving maximum food security

Public Affairs Committee executive director Robert Phiri said the
budget is "well structured, balanced and broadened to accommodate the
majority of Malawians".

General Manager for Lilongwe Cold Storage Kelvin Mmangisa also said
the removal of duty in the manufacturing sector would spur quality
products for local and international markets.

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