By The Radar, LILONGWE
It’s second day of the Mid-Term Budget Review Meeting of Parliament
Deliberations as opposition legislators expect Finance Minister Simplex Chithyola Banda to present a statement on the 44 percent kwacha devaluation in the August House.
Yesterday, Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa had asked for variation of the Order Paper to prioritize discussion on the devaluation of the local currency which has already triggered sharp increases of prices for goods and services.
He argued the issue critical considering its urgency and impact on the population.
However, the government shot down the proposal; suggesting that the finance minister makes the presentation today.
Later, tempers flared in the house as some opposition lawmakers still demanded the minister’s comprehensive statement; saying their constituents needed to know measures in place to rescue them.
Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara intervened and ruled that Chithyola Banda presents the statement on Tuesday if there will be a motion on the same.
Earlier Monday, the minister outlined a cocktail of measures aimed at cushioning the majority poor from the effects of the devaluation and how government intends to stimulate economic growth.
Though various commentators describe the kwacha devaluation as long overdue, they view the announced interventions as wanting in achieving genuine relief on the people and the he economy in the short, medium and long terms.
Parliament is meeting for this Mid-Year Budget Review up to December 8 2023.
Previously, Chithyola Banda indicated he intends to focus on introducing expenditure controls during the budget review meeting to win back the lost budgetary support.
On March 31 this year, Parliament passed the K3.788 trillion 2023-24 National Budget.