By Kondanani Chilimunthaka
President Lazarus Chakwera has unveiled the Socio-Economic Recovery Plan for the country which aims returning the country’s economy to normalcy.
In his special message to the national aired on Tuesday, December 21, from Kamuzu Palace, President Chakwera told the nation that following the meeting he had with his cabinet, his administration has designed a comprehensive Covid-19 Socio-Economic Recovery Plan (SERP) for the period between 2021-2023 aiming at stimulating strategic parts of the economy with various interventions which are estimated at over half a trillion Kwacha.
“The success of the Socio-Economic Recovery Plan will depend on all of us. Firstly it will depend on state actors across government aligning their activities, programs, policies, budgets, and spending with this plan. If they do not, the economy will not recover.” Said President Chakwera in the address.
Further, President Chakwera said the success of the plan depends also on non-state actors, country’s cooperating partner nations around the region and the world, and on the citizens themselves, adding that it does not only depend on working hard in the economic sectors the country is planning to stimulate with the intervention, but also complying with the regulations against the spread of Covid-19.
the Malawi leader told the nation that he realizes that every citizen including demonstrators want to see the economy recover, and he is optimistic that the Recovery plan will receive support from everyone.
Chakwera whose address cited economic structural limitations, gross imbalance between imports and exports, Covid-19 pandemic, and government waste as the four long-term challenges the country’s economy is currently facing, told the nation that his administration will make sure these challenges are addressed by among others; stimulating sectors like mining, infrastructure development, and manufacturing, increasing exports through cross-border trade, having every citizen vaccinated, observing measures against Covid-19, and not tolerating wastage of government resources.
“As an added measure to cut down waste, I am ordering all ministries to review their plans for local and international travel during the 2021-2023 recovery period, as well as their plans for the procurement of new vehicles during that same period. I myself have not added a single new car to my convoy, and I am already scaling down my travel plans for the recovery period, and so I expect every ministry under my administration to do the same. And I want to assure Malawians that since I do not practice wastage of your taxes, I will not tolerate it from others.” said President Chakwera.
President Chakwera has since revealed that the stimulus plan has the following among the opportunities: 900 health posts and 1800 community health worker housing units, 34 secondary schools, and work to strengthen the capacity of water boards across the country’s regions, including progress on the Salima-Lilongwe Water Project and efforts to eventually stabilize water tariffs over the period.
During the address, President Chakwera also took advantage to extend best wishes to all Malawians in the festive season of Christmas and New Year.