No duty free week this year

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Government through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), says there shall not be the Tonse Alliance’s key campaign promise of Duty Free Week in the 2022/23 financial year.

This is according to MRA Commissioner General John Bizwick who said the Duty Free Week will not be possible this financial year since it was not spelt out by the Minister of Finance during the presentation of the 2022/23 national budget in the national assembly.

Bizwick who was speaking on Tuesday when some MRA officials appeared before the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament in Lilongwe, said government was supposed to include the initiative in this year’s national budget statement.

He further said that if government wants a Duty Free Week in the next budget, then it has to be clearly stipulated in the budget statement to be presented in the coming weeks.

He added that if the government wants a Duty Free Week in the next budget, then it has to be clearly stipulated in the budget statement to be presented in the coming weeks.

Duty-free Week was a key promise by President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima during their campaign for the 2020 presidential elections.

The initiative allows Malawian businesses and individuals to import goods and last year the Value for Duty Purpose (VDP) was not supposed to exceed $3, 000 which was approximately about K2.5 million, without paying any duty at the border.

Last year the Malawi Revenue Authority pursuant to Section 96 (2) of the Customs & Excise Act, through the Minister of Finance declared the 23rd to the 29th of January, 2022 as Duty Free Week.24 Jan 2022.

Meanwhile, Bizwick has told the committee that MRA has managed to collect K1.14 trillion in the nine months of the 2022/23 fiscal year, which is from April 2022 to December 2022.

According to Bizwick, the amount collected is K1.19 billion more than the targeted K1.138 trillion and said in order to meet its target for the fiscal year, MRA needs to collect K397 billion in the fourth quarter, between January and March 2023.

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