Unforeseen expenditure funding increment stirs debate

Opposition Members of Parliament have queried government on huge increase of funding allocation to Unforeseen Expenditure Vote which has been revised from K2 billion to K25.2 billion.

According to most opposition legislators who sought clarity on such huge increase from the Finance Minister, it is worrisome to note that funds that are allocated to Unforeseen Expenditure Vote are likely abused because they are barely accounted for.

“This Vote is likely to be abused because government always seems to be reluctant to come at in open on how such funds are used,” said Nkhotakota North East lawmaker Martha Lunji who is also Deputy Democratic Progressive Party Whip.

“But responding to the sentiments, the responsible Minister for Finance Felix Mlusu said the funds have been increased due to Coronavirus pandemic and re-administration of Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examination.

“Yes indeed that is a huge increase on the unforeseen expenditure from K2 billion to about K23 billion, and the reason is very simple, there are two events that happened, one is the COVID-19 pandemic and MSCE exams.

“We all know that the State President declared a State of Disaster, and under that he has authority to command resources to be used to deal with that disaster so he directed that K17.5 billion should be made available from the budget to deal with response on COVID-19,” said Mlusu.

He added that some of the funds were used for re-administering secondary school examination.

“About MSCE you know the first exams was aborted because of the issues that were there, so these are the two major expenditures that have increased that vote from K2 billion to K23 billion,” he said.

Mlusu has however observed that there has been a reduction in the normal ORT for most Votes reflecting the scaling down of both local and external travel as a result of the pandemic.

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