Malawi Budget: No passport fees cut, removal of connection fees

In its first budget, the Tonse Government has failed to deliver on popular promises to reduce passport fees and remove fees on utility connections.

The Tonse Alliance, during the campaign for the 2020 presidential elections, promised to reduce passport fees to K14,000 and to remove fees for renewal of driving licence.

The alliance also promised to remove connection fees for electricity and water. For electricity, the connection fee is about K93,000.

Presenting the K2.2 trillion budget on Friday, Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu noted that these promises will not be delivered in the 202/21 budget but the Tonse Alliance Government is committed to ensure that they are fulfilled.

“I wish to inform the August House that the Tonse Alliance Government is committed to deliver on its promise to reduce passport fee as well as to introduce free driving license renewal. In pursuing these two initiatives, Government has already engaged the concerned suppliers as these services are currently being rendered to Government under contractual arrangements with third parties,” he said.

On free water and electricity connections, Mlusu said Government has embarked on a reform program of the concerned utility companies.

“It is upon completion of these reform programs when Government shall ably implement these promises,” said Mlusu.

However, the Tonse Administration has delivered on its promises to provide cheap fertilizer with the introduction of the Affordable Inputs Program.

In the 2020/2021 financial year, Government will implement the Affordable Inputs Program where all the 4.2 million farm families will be provided with cheap farm inputs. Each farming household will purchase two 50 kg bags of fertilizer at a price of K4,495.00 per bag.

According to Mlusu, approximately 16.8 million people will be covered under this program out of the 17.6 million people in Malawi.

In the budget, the government has also increased the Pay As You Earn zero bracket from MK45,000 per month to MK100,000 per month in order to increase disposable income for salaried employees and enhance their purchasing power.

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