- After several months of bad blood between the government and the opposition, Malawian lawmakers authorised the spending of $16.2 billion for the 2008/9 fiscal year.
For three months, the opposition and the government have been holed up in a budget crisis that nearly put the government's functions at a complete standstill last year. The disagreement had prevented the budget from being passed in June.
Malawi's minister of finance Goodall Gondwe hailed deputies for their late approval.
"Passing of the budget will mean that all developments which were waiting for funding, including the popular fertiliser subsidy programme and procurement of the much needed drugs for the country’s state hospitals, will now start," he said, registering the government's appreciation of all the inputs opposition members raised while scrutinising the budget.
“It is good that parliamentarians are taking keen interest in matters concerning the national budget by scrutinising it through vote by vote."
It was earlier reported that president Bingu wa Mutharika had been angered by the deadlock over the budget approval, and threatened to deploy soldiers to seal the parliamentary building if lawmakers remain defiant.
Opposition parties said unless the government appended its signature on a memorandum of understanding that seeks to narrow the political gap between the opposition and government in parliament.
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