By Wisdom Ngwira
Government says it will embark on serious expenditure control measures in the 2022-2023 financial year in order to reduce both external and internal public debts.
Minister of Finance, Sosten Gwengwe, said this in an interview after presenting the 2022-23 budget statement in Parliament on Friday where he stressed that public debt management will be at the centre of the presented fiscal plan.
“The ministry is currently reviewing our domestic debt profiles with a view of restructuring debt towards longer maturity period which will address the current debt sustainability concerns.
“The government will, in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, continue to exercise fiscal discipline, avoid debt creating policies and reduce granting of extra budgetary financing at treasury,” said Gwengwe.
The finance minister explained that government is further reviewing the Public Finance Management Act (2003) to address gaps that have been observed in the current legal framework on issues of contracting public debt.
“High levels of external debt are also a matter of concern for this government and in the fiscal plan, particular attention will be paid to make our external debt manageable.
“Government will maintain a policy of concessional borrowing, preferring grants and only under very exceptional circumstances, contract non-concessional loans for high value investments,” he explained.
“My ministry will intensify efforts to create fiscal space. This will enable government to have resources for financing exports-enhancing projects such as the mining sector,” he added.
Gwengwe further revealed that government will ensure implementation of fiscal consolidation measures to enhance revenue collection and manage expenditures
“To enhance revenue collection, the ministry will continue rolling out the implementation of the just launched Domestic Revenue Mobilisation Strategy (DRMS),” revealed the finance minister.
British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer, said as development partners, they are looking forward to ensuring that all what has been said in the budget is done.
“Let’s just wait and see how the proposed budget will be handled on the ground,” he briefly said.