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Showing posts from June, 2012

Section 65 versus the Budget

It sounds like an old story, it seems like an old sick Joke. But our MPs, our Parliament and Political Leaders have an amazing way of displaying their selfishness. The whole Budget debate, the need to increase salaries in public sector to be higher than the proposed 21 percent, the whole debate on the need to raise the tax free threshold to at least K20,000, the debate on schools, rising cost of living and indeed debate on what really matters to Malawians has just been wiped away. We are back to politics: Section 65. As much as we all agree it is a constitutional provision and needs to be invoked, but for a country seeking to recover from gross self-inflicted economic crisis, every Political leader or party should have been sensitive to the challenges facing Malawians. But the Democratic Progressive Party is just displaying the "I dont care attitude" that every political leader has always displayed since independence. It is just very irritating to go back to the debate whic…

Speaker snubs DPP on section 65, details to follow

The Speaker has asked the DPP to provide adequate evidence on the 45 MPs it claims to have crossed the floor. He says there is no evidence to back it up. However this morning the figure of returning MPs to DPP as.     reached 10. Mzimba Hora MP christopher ngwira sent out when he protested. DPP gurus walked out in protest!

Something from Mulanje: we can make billions

I will be spending most of my days this week in Mulanje district. Of course this is one district I love most for its scenic tea plantations that are over seen by a giant rock we proudly call Mulanje Mountain. It is so breathtaking that every chance to travel to Mulanje, I gladly take it. This time its my company sponsoring a good four days in my self acclaimed paradise. Today I visited Likhubula Tourism office, where out of all the places in the World the Ministry of Tourism does not have a trained professional to man the office. I wish Madame Joyce Banda appointed me a Tourism Minister today, give me a year and just K3 billion of the fertilizer subsidy money to develop Tourism. We can make billions. I have spent good time reading the Tourists book, they think Mulanje is in heaven. I met several American and Dutch Tourists, they told me stories which I am sure will invoke more interest towards this God given gift. It is very sad that two Forest officials should be manning Tourism int…

Ban alcohol in Sachets

Since the budget was presented, I have rarely updated the blog. This is mainly to preparations to improve the site and make it more news accessible even on mobile phones. But I have also been putting up a team for my Neighborhood, Area 18. The team's main purpose is to stop and fight alcoholism which has worsened in the area due to the emergence of cheap alcohol put in sachets. These sachets sale anything from K10 (USD0.01) to K25. But is effects is very devastating. In Area 18 alone we have lost at least 17 young people from Liver, Kidney or stomach complications arising from alcoholism, while across the country the figure of young people between the age of 13 to 30 dying is on the rise. We cannot, as Youth Leader continue to accept this state of affairs. Its high time we did something and stop these paid up murders of the young generation. Government has raised the excise duty for sachets by 250 percent, but that to us is very little as these sachets still cost lower than the l…

BUDGET STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF FINANCE DR.KEN LIPENGA M.P

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to move that the Estimates on Recurrent and Development Accounts for the 2012/13 Budget be referred to the Committee of the Whole House, be considered Vote by Vote, and that thereafter, be adopted.

INTRODUCTION

Mr.  Speaker, Sir, I am honoured to stand here as part of history to deliver the first Budget Statement of the People’s Party Administration led by Her Excellency, Mrs Joyce Banda.

It is with utmost humility that I want to register my sincere gratitude to Her Excellency the President for her belief in me to lead the Ministry of Finance at a time when we are facing serious economic challenges.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I recognise the importance of consultations to improve the quality of the Budget.  The Deputy Minister of Finance and I consulted a wide range of stakeholders across the country in May in order to reflect the priorities and concerns of Malawians in the National Budget.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, we face serious economic challenges.  These were articulated …

MALAWI CANCELS AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT OVER SUDAN'S AL BASHIR

STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALAWI KHUMBO KACHALI ON AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT AND PRESIDENT OF SUDAN OMAR AL BASHIR

LILONGWE. 8 JUNE. 2012

Fellow Malawians:

I wish to inform the Malawi nation that we received a communication from the African Union Commission regarding the forthcoming African Union Summit scheduled to be held in Lilongwe next month. The African Union Commission has informed the Government that as a host nation, Malawi is under obligation to invite all Heads of States and Government including President Al Bashir of Sudan. The African Union Commissions position is that if we are not willing to receive President Al Bashir, they will remove the summit out of Malawi.
It has also been brought to our attention that the Government of Sudan has formally written to the African Union Commission requesting them to shift the Summit from Malawi to Ethiopia because of our position on the matter of President Al Bashir.
The Cabinet met today, June 8, 2012 to deliberate …

BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS WHAT AFFECTS ORDINARY MALAWIAN

1. Civil Servants get 21 percent increment
2. Pay as You Earn Tax adjusted: K15,000- zero percent, K5000 - 15 percent, above that 30 percent. In simple calculation your first K20,000 you only pay K750 tax.
3. When you travel outside and buy things, you only pay duty if your goods are worth over K150,000.00 for non commercial purposes
4. Value Added Taxes on the Following things removed: Bread, Newspapers, Financial Services Charges, Water equipment.
5. No Duty on Kaunjika
6. Tax on sachets and plastic bottled alcohol increased on 250 percent.

First K20,000 you only pay K750 taxes, VAT on newspapers removed

Constituency Development Fund upped to K5 million per constituency
Customs measures effective from tonight
Removed minimum tax on turnover has been removed.
Taxes on gains from selling shares removed
Initial investment allowances is back to 100 percent and Transport allowance also included.
Export allowances: Correct basis taxable income from export proceeds.
 Export allowance increased to 25 percent.
Social contributions towards hospitals, schools and sports development will be tax deductable up to 50 percent

Value added and other Income taxes from July 1, 2012
PAYE:K15000 tax free, next K5000 goes at 15 percent
Pensions Act: Section 13 has been amended.
Increased Corporate tax on mobile operators: From 30 percent to 33 percent.
In order to attract investment:
VALUE ADDED TAXES
VAT on machinery removed.
VAT financial services removed.
VAT on newspapers
VAT on bread removed
No DUTY ON KAUNJIKA
Tax on sachets increase by 250 percent
Medical equipment now duty free.
Duty on Water equip…

TOTAL BUDGET K406 BILLION

K394.4 BILLION REVENUE AND GRANTS
k124 BILLION DOMESTIC REVENUE AND GRANTS
Non tax revenue: K33 billion estimated.
Foreign grants have increased  by 140 percent increase
Total expenditure: K406 billion, deficit of K13.4 billion to be financed by foreign sources and no net domestic.
K86.8 billion to be spent on civil service, 21 Percent pay hike for public workers

Fuel subsidy costly

Fuel subsidies are a danger to economy.
In 2010 Fuel subsidy was K6 billion
In 2011, the fuel subsidy was K10.5 billion subsidies.
Without adjustments May by end of year fuel subsidy K36 billion

Budget statement 2012: Arrears hit K72 Billion

Arrears accumulate to K72 billion with half of that owed by Parastatals.
SFFRM: k16 billion
MBC: K5 BILLION
Air  Malawi K5 Bilion
Devaluation and floation of the kwacha: Government has tried to mitigate by rising interest rates.
Lipenga argues donors to disburse their commitments as soon as possible.
Domestic: growth down to 4.3 percent mainly due to slow down in agriculture.
2013: 5.7 percent projection
Inflation at 18.4 percent prospects of decelerating to 16.7 percent for 2013.
June 2013: Net domestic borrowing should be zero!

BREAKING NOW: MALAWI WILL NOT HOST AU

The Vice President Khumbo Kachali has just announced that Malawi will not be hosting the African Union. This was decided by Cabinet this morning after AU Commission asked Malawi to welcome Sudanese President Al Bashir who is wanted by the International Criminal Court of Justice. Full statement made by the Vice President Khumbo Kachali will be posted by 2.30pm.

Our Health sector needs urgent attention

When Dr. George Chaponda stood in Parliament and claimed on that there are no drugs in Health Centres in Mulanje district, many especially on Government benches laughed him off and loudly said "wazidziwa liti?" Simply when did you know that.
This week, I visited Kamuzu Central Hospital where Nurses have stopped working overtime, because what they are paid as overtime allowances is quite little.
Labour laws have a maximum limit of hours for anyone to be engaged in work. They prescribe the amount to be paid and when one should rest.
Unfortunately in Malawi's Health sector, Nurses and other health workers have no luxury of resting. On Nurse looks after as many as 100 patients. But in the case of my mother who for months worked alone at Chitimba Health Centre in Rumphi from maternity wing, OPD 1 and Pharmacy.
I would go to her home late at night and leave early in the morning, but she would be at the hospital deliverying babies or taking care of those that came in as an eme…

Congratulations to the blogs volunteer Editor Kenani Zgambo

My little brother who takes his time to read and correct the typos on this blog. I always write in a hurry and he comes back slowly to correct all my disjointed English sentences. Thank you brother and as You GRADUATE at ABC Uganda, this blog says Congratulations and cant wait for you to come back home and enjoy the new Malawi. You prayed for our safety throughout the challenging period. Congratulations Cruz! Congrats my Editor and Brother. God BLESS you!

JB should maintain the momentum, Malawi's best week

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We suddenly have reasons to smile. As Journalists this week was significant as Section 46 was completely removed from the Country's penal code. People can invest in Newspaper business and no fear of being closed down.
The Presidency also did make a bold statement on the arrest of BNL Journalist Clement Chinoko it regretted his unlawful detention. It was something rare that made some of us believe perhaps after all, Malawi has changed. Bravo the President and her administration.
Then came the issue of National Flag. Followers of this blog know that I have always called the Independence Flag the true identity of the Malawian people. The return was an emotional moment, one that God has granted us opportunity to witness. The previous administration insulted, threatened and intimidated some of us based on the issue of flag.
The injunctions bill is no more, we hope of normal taxes, the launch of Safe Motherhood Initiative and even the cutting of Presidential Convoy, the simple travel s…