The Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has declared K4.5 billion to the forthcoming national budget which it collected in fees, levies and penalties from the telecommunications sector on behalf of the government.
Macra Director General, Andrew Kumbatira, disclosed this at State House in Lilongwe during a ceremony to present a donation of 50 computers to community colleges by the communications regulator.
Kumbatira said Macra’s remittances to the government have increased from K600 million in 2010 to K3.5 billion in the current financial year and will rise to K4.5 million for the next financial year.
He attributed the increase to growth in subscriber base from the operators.
“This is in addition to innovative ways of maximising collections by Macra,” said Kumbatira.
Among other things, Kumbatira said levy from international traffic and new licenses contributed to the rise in revenue collected by Macra.
Macra, said Kumbatira, plans to start conducting revenue assurance and fraud management exercises on its revenue sources to ensure that all declarations of revenue by ICT operators are correct and free from any forms of fraud and misstatements.
Kumbatira has since said the regulator will give out new licenses to add more players in the telecommunication industry for more competition.
“We will be giving out a new license soon,” said Kumbatira.
Kumbatira said, however, that although network coverage has reached 90 percent to be one of the highest in Africa, actual usage of telephones is still low at 40 percent and attributed this to expensive services offered by operators and low disposable incomes, especially in rural areas.