Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe has disclosed that the country’s debt has reached 6.38 trillion Kwacha from 5.6 trillion Kwacha last year, a feat that has now seen government moving into adopting level 1 of Austerity Measures.
Gwengwe, said at the moment every Malawian whether a baby or older person is carrying on his or her shoulder a debt of not less than K600 000 kwacha each.
Speaking when delivering his statement on the State of the Country’s Economy at a National Youth Conference in Lilongwe, Gwengwe said debt is a monster making Malawi not to progress.
He also listed other economic constraints such as blackouts, saying the country is not producing enough energy and this has affected the economy.
He said, the country has an economy with no enough energy a thing that has affected business and revenue generation.
Gwengwe also said that Malawi is also facing acute forex shortage a thing that has affected imports and its chances to attract money lenders.
Gwengwe told the Youth Conference that even IMF does not lend those with huge debt.
As solution, Gwengwe has said Malawi should have to increase its export base and go on level 1 Austerity Measure.
“Government is considering level 1 of austerity, if you hear of a complete travel ban don’t mourn because we are trying to run away from this debt trajectory and save some money,’’ said Gwengwe.
But Ralph Jooma Member of Parliament for Mangochi Monkebay and Member of the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee has asked government to impose austerity that suits all and not just ban local travels while those imposing the austerity go on international trips 3 times or more per year.