Nkhata Bay District Council says it is planning to revise its council rates due to the effects of the 44% devaluation of the Kwacha.
This was disclosed during a meeting between Nkhata Bay councils officials and National Local Government Finance Committee (NLGFC) on the 2024/25 Budget Review/ hearing session in Mzuzu.
In his remarks, Nkhata Bay District Council Acting Director of Finance Anderson Nyirenda, indicated that devaluation has affected the council’s day to day activities that is why they are considering revising the council rates.
“Due to devaluation, the price of goods have gone up, putting pressure on locally generated resources such that the council is failing to conduct some of its activities. As a measure to counter this, we are going to revise our city rates which includes market rates and business licenses,” he said.
In his remarks on the Nkhata Bay city council’s plan to revise the rates, Budget Analyst for NLGFC, Jonathan Banda, commended the move saying it is a good move as the economy is moving through turbulence.
“During budget presentation, they said that they want to raise council rates in the next fiscal year which is giving them a target of K208 714 000 from the current target of K128 194 740 from local revenue collection. The idea to revise rates is good as devaluation has affected service delivery to the community,” said Banda.
He added that the council’s decision to start using Electronic ticketing when collecting the council rates in some markets will eliminates fraud and they will be able to fully use the money.
The analyst, however, advised Nkhata Bay district council to put more effort in local revenue generation as it one way of generating funds that they can control without any conditions attached unlike other windows of funding.
Banda also highlighted that the council’s budget lacked guides that Nkhata-bay council will use to measure their progress.
“For instance, Nkhata Bay district council presented that on enrollment they want to recruit 700 teachers a figure which is too high compared to the funds that may be available,” Banda added.