BY STEVEN GODFREY MKWETEZA
The country’s tax collecting body, the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) says it is confident on beating this year’s revenue tax collection target of MK1.3 trillion.
In an interview on the sideline of the International Customs Day Commemoration which was held in Blantyre, MRA’s Head of Corporate Affairs Steven Kapoloma said the organization has set proper reforms and reinforcement strategies to beat the target.
“We are confident with our strategies and feel that many tax payers will be forthcoming in remitting their taxes because they are now understood its importance due to the widespread awareness of technologies to ensure compliance,” said Kapoloma
He cited the newly introduced Msonkho Online, the introduction of scanners at the border posts, voluntary tax payment, enhancement of fiscal investigation and dedicated staff as some of the measures put in place to collect more tax revenue for this financial year.
However, the Head of Corporate Affairs, singled out widespread smuggling as the possible setback to the efforts of increasing the tax revenue.
In his remarks, the authority’s Board Chairman Rex Harawa emphasized on the need for the stakeholders to cultivate a culture of paying taxes to fund various development projects carried by the government in the scarcity of foreign aid.
“Malawi just like any other country cannot develop with aid alone. Therefore, there is a need to enhance tax collection efforts among the tax payers,” he said.
Harawa among others, hailed the Malawi government in its effort to create a conducive private sector environment in a bid to bring about competiveness and boost foreign direct investment which he said would bring down the country’s ranking of doing business to below the margin of around 100.
“With the ease of doing business, the country will be able to collect more taxes to finance its development projects as many companies and other stakeholders will strive and be able to remit taxes,” said Harawa.
Among other activities, various organisations and individuals were awarded with various accolades for their performances.
These included the Malawi police services(MPS), Malawi Bureau of standards(MBS) the Pharmacies and poison board of Malawi, beautify Malawi trust, Mulanje mountain conservation trust(MMCT), African Parks, department of environmental affairs and Namisepa organization.
Malabada Primary School of Blantyre and Youth Wildlife Environmental Society (WESM) were presented with tree seedlings to be planted at the deforested Ndirande hill.
Malawi joined the international community in commemorated the international customs day under the theme’ customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity and the planet’.