Minister of Finance consults stakeholders on budget formulation
The Minister of Finance, Honourable Joseph Mwanamveka, MP, has called upon the Malawi Revenue Authority to maximise its effort in order to support Government programmes lined up in the forthcoming 2019/2020 national budget.
The Minister was speaking at the third pre-budget meeting held at Ryalls Hotel in Blantyre. He noted that underperformance in tax revenue, poor performance by fees and charges and delayed disbursement of fund by donor affected the implementation of the 2018/19 budget.
The Minister requested the tax body to intensify tax audits and investigations to ensure that tax leakages are sealed. He also requested the Authority to focus on automation and urged the private sector to deal with the issue of corruption and integrity jointly with the Authority.
The stakeholders who were invited to the meetings included the private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith Based Organizations, the Academia and the general public.
The stakeholders challenged the Government to introduce tax reforms with a view to promote the private sector and cushion low income earners.
From left: Mr. Cliff Chiunda, Hon. Mwanamveka, Mrs. Roza Mbilizi and Barnett Nkasala, Blantyre DC
For example, stakeholders requested the Government to introduce more tax incentives for the private sector than imposing new taxes on them, reduce the rate of corporate tax to achieve fairness in the region and also reduce the VAT rate to at least 14% like other countries in the region.
People also urged the Government to introduce tax waivers on agro businesses and proposed tax holidays and allowances on rural investments, among other areas.
In response, the Minister assured the nation that the Government would consider incorporating their tax issues in the 2019/2020 national budget while other proposals would be dealt with in subsequent budgets, depending on their importance.
During the meeting, the Honourable Minister was accompanied by the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Cliff Chiunda, the Deputy Commissioner General of MRA, Mrs. Roza Mbilizi and other senior officials from the Ministry of Finance and MRA.