Members of Parliament deferred the African Development Fund loan for Agriculture Infrastructure and Youth in Agribusiness Project authorization Bill to December 6, 2016 after long debate.
The Bill seeks to authorize the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Goodal Gondwe on behalf of Malawi to borrow K16.1 Billion from the African Development Bank (ADB).
The objective of the loan is to promote economic growth and food security through irrigation development, value chain development and expansion of opportunities in agriculture.
Speaking in an interview Gondwe said although the bill was deferred he was still optimistic that parliament will pass it.
“Although the bill has been deferred, I am hoping that it will be accepted, because the Bill is very crucial to the country as it addresses the problem of unemployment among the youth” he explained.
Gondwe said the country needs to borrow in order to carry out development activities because currently the country is running on recurrent budget.
The deferring of the Bill was in order for the Minister to make substantive amendment to the bill.
Amid the debate on the Bill Member of Parliament for Nsanje South West, Dr. Malunga commended government for its efforts to address the problem of unemployment among the youths.
He cautioned government to ensure that the loan and the project be implemented to completion as such loans look good on paper but implementation on the ground is a challenge, citing examples of the greenbelt initiative and rehabilitation of agriculture schemes.
The loan is K16.1 billion will be payable in 40 years, with a grace period of 10 years.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA