Malawi Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodal Gondwe shocked many when he said the Economic Recovery Plan doesn’t have a life span of 18 months as many have been made to believe.
However this was lie on the part of the Minister because from its inception President Joyce Banda and her ministers have been telling Malawians that the recovery efforts will take 18 months.
“After the 18 month period it’s when we should expect a turnaround of the economy,” President Banda is only record saying this now and then.
When unveiling the plan, former Economic Minister Atupele Muluzi also said the initiative was an 18 month plan to fix the economy.
But addressing journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Mr. Gondwe changed tune.
“There is nowhere in any document and speech by the leadership in Government where it is stated that the ERP would be completed in 18 months,” said Gondwe.
“Expected benefits to commence within 18 months is not the same as saying that the ERP will be implemented within 18 months”
He said some elements in the recovery plan will be implemented in two to five years.
He said there are misunderstanding on the whole blueprint by both ordinary Malawians and some analysts whom he said need to understand the concept.
“As you are aware Malawi growth rate fell drastically to 4.3 percent in 2011 and 1.9 percent in 2012 from growth rate of 6.7 percent in 2010.To address these challenges and resume high growth rate this is why government developed the Malawi economic recovery plan,” said Gondwe.
For over two years now, Malawi economy has gone through challenges coupled with shortages in forex and fuel.
The cost of leaving has over the period been high. To contain the challenges, the President Joyce Banda administration adopted new economic reform measures and in May 2012, the local currency, Kwacha, was devalued.
This has over the past months seen the buying power dwindling, pushing the headline inflation upwards to 33.3 percent by end of last year