Malawi Finance Minister Felix Mlusu presented a 2.9 billion U.S. dollars budget on Friday for the country’s 2020/2021 Financial Year, with the education sector getting the biggest cut of 514.5 million U.S. dollars.
The total national cake represents 30.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the education sector’s lion share represents 21.6 percent of the total budget and 5.4 percent of GDP.
The Finance minister said the huge cut for the education sector will cater for wages and salaries of teachers, operation of primary and secondary schools and development projects.
Agriculture has received 474 million U.S. dollars, which is 19.9 percent of the total budget, representing 5 percent of GDP while the health sector has been allocated 273.5 million U.S. dollars, representing 11.5 percent of the total budget and 2.9 percent of GDP.
The Malawi government intends to spend part of the agriculture sector budget on the implementation of the Affordable Input Program (AIP) in which 4.2 million farming households in the country will access subsidized fertilizer and maize seed.
The 2020/2021 budget has increased by 22.9 percent from the 2019/2020 total budget of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars which had a deficit of 742.3 million U.S. dollars at the end of the financial year, said Mlusu.
The minister noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 affected the performance of the previous budget hence the deficit.
Revenues have substantially declined amidst increased need for resources to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, said the minister, adding that during the COVID-19 pandemic period, monthly tax revenue collections have dropped by almost 11 percent when compared to revenue collections during the pre-COVID-19 period.