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Malawi Economic Justice Network - Comments on the proposed Malawi Budget 2001-2002

5. Recommendations
 
Given the above, MEJN believes that without including the following recommendations, the budget cannot be considered pro-poor:
 
  • At a minimum give clear detail on the 12 Priority Poverty Expenditures highlighted in the PRSP Findings to Date Document. This should give outputs, comparison with last year and sources of expenditure (Donor, Govt, HIPC).
  • A guarantee should be given that this money for the PPE's will not be diverted to other expenditures without Parliamentary approval.
  • The Government should commit to providing clear figures on these 12 PPE's on a quarterly basis.
  • A clearer and more detailed breakdown of the HIPC funds and where they are intended to be spent must be given, and mechanisms put in place to be able to monitor where they are going. A clear account of how the HIPC money received in the last financial year was spent is also essential.
  • The overall fall in the budget for both Education and the Police needs to be reversed.
  • The budget for the National Assembly should be increased to a realistic figure, reflecting the need for Parliamentary scrutiny of the executive.
  • The need to increase the deficit and foreign borrowing is not acceptable given the figures. Government should instead cut back on non-poverty reducing expenditures, such as State Residences and 'Special Activities'.
  • The provision for bailing out the various procurement scandals contained in 'Refunds and Repayments' should be rejected, particularly given that many of the issues are still in court.
  • Specific detail should be given on what is meant by 'Special Activities', and why the expenditures here cannot be transparently put under other budgets.

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