By Alinafe Mlamba
Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences-based economist Betchani Tchereni has asked the government to borrow a leaf from South Africa and review fuel levies.
The call comes at a time South Africa, which is a member state of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) which Malawi’s president Lazarus Chakwera chairs, has extended its fuel levy reduction initiative to August this year.
The South African government announced this on Tuesday.
Malawi, on the other hand, reduced some fuel levies two months ago.
However, Tchereni implored the government to consider further reductions to the same.
“Some of these levies are just an unnecessary pinch on the consumers and certain goods are being imported into the country which are not necessities. Therefore, cutting on these will help the country stabilise its economy,” he said.
In a separate interview, Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe said the government is doing its best to cushion Malawians from economic challenges.
“South Africa is following what Malawi already did; as such, people should appreciate the efforts which government is making to cushion Malawians,” he said.
On forex preservation, Gwengwe pointed out that the Reserve Bank of Malawi has been tasked to address this.
“The measures are being put in place by the Reserve Bank [of Malawi] and we are looking forward to turning the economy so that Malawi is on a solid foundation with these fundamentals,” he said.
The levy reduction on fuel in South Africa was effected in March this year as one way of easing pressure on consumers from exorbitant domestic fuel prices, amid a pinch of the high cost of living in the Rainbow Nation, which is said to have been orchestrated by the Russia- Ukraine war.