BY UCHIZI MBANGE
Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Sosten Gwengwe has said passing of the Value Added Tax Bill which will, among others, allow the removal of a 16.5 percent threshold on cooking oil, is a positive step towards ensuring that the citizenry is not overburdened with for crucial basic needs.
The passed bill also exempts VAT on water, sanitary pads and some other outlined commodities.
“This development will go a long way in cushioning Malawians in the wake of financial constraints that have rocked this country,” Gwengwe said in an interview after the Bill was passed on Tuesday.
According to Gwengwe, the passed Bill will be effective April 1, 2022.
He said: “This is for the benefit of the poor and not the companies that manufacture the products. The removal of taxes will be passed on to consumers in terms of reduced prices.
“There are provisions within the law for those traders that do not comply. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has enough legal instruments to be able to address those that want to take advantage of Malawians.”
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson on financial affairs, Joseph Mwanamveka, hailed government for the development.
“Considering that the issue of cooking oil has affected almost everyone in the country especially those in remote areas, this is a very commendable development,” Mwanamveka, a former Minister of Finance, said.