By Cedric Nkungula
President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera’s led administration on Monday announced a number of economic interventions that are aimed at cushioning vulnerable Malawians against the effects of the recent devaluation of the Kwacha.
On Tuesday, 8th November 2023, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) adjusted the buying and selling of the local currency Kwacha against the United States (US) Dollar by a 44 percent margin.
The Kwacha is now selling at K1,700 against 1 US Dollar from K1,180.
Announcing the measures on Monday 13th November 2023, Finance and Economic Affairs Minister Simplex Chithyola the spelt out economic interventions are aimed at cushioning vulnerable sections of the population against the adverse and unintended effects that have come following the re alignment of the Kwacha.
Among the measures, Chithyola said government has reintroduced the price shock urban emergency cash transfer program which will target 105,000 households in the cities of Zomba, Blantyre and Lilongwe.
“Beneficiaries will receive a once off transfer of K150,000 covering a period of 3 months,” said the minister.
Pursuant to section 54 of the Employment Act, says the minister, government has embarked on consultations with relevant stakeholders to revise the minimum wage.
“Government will immediately engage all civil service trade unions to review salaries in the public sector and determine how civil servants can be properly cushioned against the alignment,” he said.
The minister explained that government with support from development partners has commenced the recruitment of 2741 health workers. He said the recruitment process is expected to be completed by 31st July, 2024.
Chithyola further said government is also discussing with foreign governments on skilled labour export.
“Over 5000 skilled professionals are expected to be recruited under this program. The country is also expected to significantly benefit in terms of foreign currency remittances / foreign currency diversification under this initiative,” he said