UN faults policies on rising inequality

  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has faulted the country’s weak economic policies for the continued rise in inequality or gini coefficient. Gini coefficient is a statistical measure of distribution and is often used to gauge economic inequality, measuring income distribution or, less commonly, wealth distribution among a population, ranging from 0 (or 0…

Mpinganjira decries systems breakdown

  Renowned business tycoon Thomson Mpinganjira has described media reports and Public Accounts Committee reviews at Parliament as a sign of a total breakdown of systems of internal control in the local assemblies and other government ministries, department and agencies. He said this in Mangochi on Friday during the opening of the Institute of Chartered…

Economists caution on fiscal deficit

Economists have asked government to align its expenditure to resource availability. The caution comes in the wake of a widened fiscal deficit in July, which is also the first month of the 2017/18 financial year. According to the published Reserve Bank of Malawi July 2017 Monthly Economic Report, central government budgetary operations July 2017 culminated…

Malawi cotton farmers cry foul

  Despite receiving good rains and having positive prospects for the 2016/17 season, earnings from the cotton sector continue declining and putting the livelihood of over 300 000 small-scale farmers in limbo. Cotton is one of the country’s high value crops that has a number of benefits in its value chains. Experts in the sector…

Tangerine imports from Mozambique flood market

  Tangerine farmers in Neno and Mwanza risk losing their livelihood from the crop following an influx of the fruit’s imports from Mozambique this year. While acknowledging the influx of imported tangerines from Mozambique, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Alfred Kapichira-Banda has faulted the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development for failing to…

Wage bill rise sustainable—IMF

  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has backed the increase in the wage bill, saying it will not change the implementation of the current budget. IMF resident representative Jack Ree said on Monday that at the current level, the wage bill is sustainable; hence, no need for authorities to be under pressure. The global lender’s…

Domestic debt interest soars

Malawi is expected to pay huge interest totalling K177.3 billion on domestic debt, accounting for 85 percent of total interest for domestic and foreign debt in the 2017/18 fiscal year. This is an increase from the previous financial year’s K143.5 billion, according to figures from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development. The combined…

Macra irks consumers over tariffs, network glitches

The Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has expressed dismay at the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority’s (Macra) delay to address concerns on tariffs affordability and network challenges. The dismay follows Macra director general Godfrey Itaye’s to response to concerns raised by Cama last month on the poor network quality and high tariffs by mobile service providers…

Wholesale, retail trade tops credit share

The wholesale and retail trade continue to claim the largest share of private sector credit despite holding the highest non-performing loans (NPL). Data contained in the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) financial and economic report for the 2017 second quarter indicate that at 24.9 percent, the sector led the credit line followed by agriculture at…

Banks narrow interest rate gap

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has said the recent cut in lending rates by two of the country’s commercial banks is a step towards the narrowing of the interest rate spread that has been a bone of contention among borrowers. Out of the country’s 10 commercial banks, FMB plc and Standard Bank plc have…

RBM upbeat on BoP rise

  The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says it expects the country’s Balance of Payment (BoP)—the record of all economic transactions between residents of a country and the rest of the world in a particular period—to continue posting surplus. Figures from RBM show that Malawi’s overall BoP registered a surplus of K77.4 billion ($106.9 million)…

Internal auditors’ role under spotlight

  Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) chief executive officer John Kamanga has challenged internal auditors to move away from just looking at numbers and focus more on containing risks. The MSE boss made the call on Friday in Mangochi on the sidelines of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Malawi 17th Annual Conference held under the…

Govt renews Mkango exploration licence

Chief mining engineer and head of oil and gas section in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Casius Chiwambo has said the country’s mining sector potential is still great and attractive following successful mineral exploration. Chiwambo said as a result, government is working on reintroducing an independent statutory corporation—the Mineral Development Corporation (Midcor)—to…

Experts weigh in on new transfer pricing legislation

  Deloitte South Africa associate director responsible for transfer pricing, Cabrin McCarrick, has said the enactment of the Taxation (Transfer Pricing Documentation) Regulation will help in ensuring Malawi’s tax base, saying the onus rests in the tax-payer to ensure compliance. Transfer pricing involves the pricing of goods and services between parties that control one another…

Mitc helpless

  The Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (Mitc), the country’s one-stop investment coordination centre, seems to be helpless in terms of attracting prospective investors for projects contained in the 2016 Projects Compendium. In an interview on Tuesday, Mitc chief executive officer Clement Kumbemba conceded that the agency is finding it hard to sell some of…

G overnment raises k40bn in t-bills

  The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has since the start of the 2017/18 financial year raised over K40.72 billion in Treasury bills (T-bills), a short-dated government security, according to available figures. T-bills are a critical way for government to raise money without raising taxes, but has an effect of crowding out the private sector…