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Cooking oil producers pinned to lower prices

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Cooking oil manufacturers on Friday indicated that they would reduce the commodity’s price effective April 1 to reflect the government’s removal of the 16.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT).

Ironically, cooking oil prices have been on an upward spiral in the past weeks, a situation consumers fear would not be reflected in adherence to the VAT adjustments.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced last week to have had engaged the manufacturers over a possible slash in the commodity’s prices.

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“For transparency purposes, each company will report in writing to the Ministry of Trade and Industry the percentage of how much each has reduced the price of cooking oil owing to the removal of 16.5 percent VAT and as part of the foregone revenue on input VAT claims from Malawi Government through Malawi Revenue Authority,” the ministry said in a statement.

It added that, in the event that there is persistent escalation of prices on the market, the government will consider allowing more importation of cooking oil to stabilise the prices.

The statement further indicated that the government would continue regulating exports of raw soya beans to ensure adequate availability of the commodity to local processors “for sustainable local value addition, job creation and reduction of imports of crude cooking oil”.

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Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe announced the removal of the VAT on cooking oil in his 2022-23 National Budget Statement.

Earlier this month, Consumers Association of Malawi called on the cooking oil manufacturers to cut down on prices.

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