Cluster committees lament huge budget deficit in MDAs

Cluster committees lament huge budget deficit in MDAs


lmost all the cluster committees that presented their reports in Parliament on Thursday recommended additional funding to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to enable them to implement their programmes effectively.

Among others, a funding gap of K61 billion has been noted in vote 250 for the Ministry of Education whereas Vote 275 for subvented organisations has a shortfall of about K240 billion. 

Ministry of Justice vote has a deficit of K1.5 billion while other institutions such as the Judiciary and Anti-Corruption Bureau face a deficits of K6.9 billion and about K1.3 billion, respectively.

Presenting a report in the House, Education Cluster Committee vice-chairperson Ephraim Nayeja said although the budget for the Ministry of Education has been increased by 35 percent from K661 billion in the 2023/24 financial year to K895.5 billion in this year’s proposed budget, which is not enough.

Legal Affairs and Government Assurance and Public Sector Reforms chairperson Albert Mbawala regretted the decline in the allocation of resources for management and support services.

“Furthermore, insufficient funding has been directed towards critical aspects,” he said.

On funding to the ACB, Mbawala emphasised that the bureau serves as a pivotal governance institution dedicated to combating corruption through proactive measures, educational initiatives, and law enforcement, hence the need for adequate funding.

More funding to Education could be used to improve such infrastructure

“In this capacity, it plays a significant role in advancing Enabler 2 of the Malawi 2063, which focuses on establishing robust governance systems and institutions,” he said.

Public Appointments Committee of Parliament chairperson Joyce Chitsulo urged the Treasury to provide adequate funding for disaster management.

She said: “Government through Treasury should consider increasing the allocation to this vote, especially the allocation to Dodma to assist the flood victims and ensure timely funding.”

On his part, the Cluster on Social and Community Affairs and Local Authorities and Rural Development Committee co-chairperson Savel Kafwafwa observed that most MDAs experienced unexpected budget overruns in the 2023/24 fiscal year due to currency devaluation.

“Additionally, a considerable portion of the MDAs we engaged with faced difficulties accessing their allocated funds due to delayed disbursements by the Ministry of Finance during the same period,” he said.

However, rising on a point of order, Minister of Trade and Industry Sosten Gwengwe said it was improper for committee chairpersons to keep telling the government to increase budget allocation to clusters as Parliament itself has the role of passing the budget.

Last month, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Simplex Chithyola-Banda tabled the nearly K6 trillion National Budget, touted by economic commentators.

The post Cluster committees lament huge budget deficit in MDAs first appeared on The Nation Online.

The post Cluster committees lament huge budget deficit in MDAs appeared first on The Nation Online.