Malawi legislators to pass budget on Wednesday

Legislators worked overtime on Tuesday to pass a total of 53 budgetary allocations in the proposed 2012/13 financial plan.

With 53 Votes passed, Malawi’s parliament is only remaining with four Votes to deal with and approve the $1.6 billion 2012 /13 national budget  on Wednesday–crucial to seeking approval from the IMF board which meets next month.

The Fund and Malawi announced that they had  reached an  understanding on a 3-year- $157 million medium term program  that can be supported by the IMF.

But IMF resident representative Ruby Randall said that the passing of the budget by parliament was crucial for the eventual approval of an IMF aid package by the executive board.

The 2012/13 budget seeks to restore macro economic stability and sustain international reserves which have been below the World Bank recommended three months of import cover.

This year, Western donors who have been withholding millions in budget support since January last year, have committed close to $500 million for 2012/13 fiscal year. This represents a 140 percent increase in grants compared to last year, Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said.