Member of Parliament for Ntchisi North Constituency, Boniface Kadzamira, Thursday cornered Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, on high duty imposed on imported secondhand vehicles.
Kadzamira urged the government to review its policy on duty and consider softening up so that vehicles manufactured 10 or 15 years before can be imported.
He also asked Gondwe to appreciate that local businesspeople face challenges when determining how much to pay, adding that duty imposed should not exceed the amount paid for the purchase of a vehicle.
“It appears that it is business as usual for the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to impose huge taxes [on people] and it is business as usual for banks to make huge profits while other local businesses are making losses. The motor vehicle industry is the most hit.
“If one chooses to buy a minibus that has been in operation for 10 years or more, and which costs about $3,000, they are required to pay K4 million. We are punishing people,” Kadzamira said.
In his response, Gondwe reminded the august House that, when he was minister in 2006, the government removed duty on minibuses.
“Most of these duties and taxes are not so much an issue [to do with] the country; we have the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which is involved. What happens in Zambia is very similar to what happens here. But this is noted,” Gondwe said.
Gondwe also said he is aware that some vehicles are sold after people fail to pay duty. He then said people should seek advice on how much duty they will be required to pay when a vehicle arrives in the country before purchasing.
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