Tax base expansion   In limbo—expert

Efforts by  the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development to broaden the tax base could be betrayed by the current business environment and government’s efficiency, a tax expert has said. Treasury had planned to widen the tax net and broaden the base by among others exploring new areas to tax, increase enforcement and monitoring…

RBM misses annual inflation target

Malawi’s year-on-year headline inflation rate  for December 2019 rose by 1.1 percentage points to 11.5 percent, closing the year with an annual average inflation rate of 9.4 percent.  The average inflation rate is 0.2 percentage points above the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM)annual projected rate of 9.2 percent. In an interview yesterday, RBM spokesperson Mbane…

SDGS financing haunts Malawi

With one-third of the 2030 Agenda journey already complete, Malawi’s spending on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is not enough to meet the targets by the set year, the Brookings Institution has said. The Washington-based non-profit public policy organisation observed in its foresight analysis that Malawi, alongside other 18 countries, will spend less than half of…

Malawi exports to EU down 27.8%

Despite Malawi having a number of trade agreements with the EU, trade between the two has increased by a paltry 2.9 percent over a nine-year period from $720 million (about K533 billion) in 2009 to $741 million (K548 billion) in 2018, with trade tilting in in favour of the EU. Figures show that Malawi has…

UN raises hope on tax, debt relief

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) says Malawi continues to perform well on tax reforms and dealing with debt. In its 2019 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Report, Unctad said Malawi stands out among nine LDCs in taxation reforms. Unctad observes that although Malawi’s domestic and external debt in the last five years has…

MCCCI wants carbon tax on fuel

Malawi Confederation of Chambers f Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) chief executive officer Chancellor Kaferapanjira observed on Sunday that carbon tax must be proportionate to usage, not necessarily be fixed according to capacity of a vehicle. The tax, which is payable annually depending on the engine size or cylinder capacity (cc) of the motor vehicle, puts…

‘MW could benefit from urbanisation’

The growing urban population has potential to improve economic opportunities and living conditions across Malawi. This is according to a World Bank assessment titled Managing Risks for a Safer Built Environment in Malawi: Building Regulatory Capacity Assessment, which was funded by the ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme. World Bank figures show that Malawi remains…

MW inflation below Comesa average

In 2012, Malawi’s consumer inflation was one the highest in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region at 21.4 percent, but since then the country has turned the corner reducing inflation to single digits. By 2017, Malawi’s inflation had inched downwards to 13.1 percent. This year, at 9.5 percent, Malawi’s inflation rate…

Subdued tobacco market will impact on trade—RBM

The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) says the subdued performance of the 2019 tobacco market will negatively impact the country’s Terms of Trade (TOT). According to RBM figures, the performance of tobacco prices during the 2018/19 season has been unsatisfactory compared to the previous two seasons with average prices for tobacco, at $1.43 (about K1…

Employers hit hard

With a month to go before the new minimum wage rolls out, labour-intensive sectors will be the worst hit by the jump, Employers Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has said. Ecam executive director George Khakhi said in an interview that once the new minimum wage comes into effect in January, only a sustained enabling business…

Social cash transfer targeting faulted

A recent study on the social cash transfers in the country has faulted the targeting of beneficiaries to the programme, which it says is based on false assumptions about households. The ESRC-DFID-funded three-year collaborative research project titled Social Cash Transfers Programme (SCTP), Generational Relations and Youth Poverty Trajectories in Rural Lesotho and Malawi point out…

Pension Act review excites industry

National Bank of Malawi Pensions Administration Limited says it is banking on the review of the Pensions Act 2010 for the development of the sector. The firm’s chief executive officer William Mabulekesi said this on Wednesday in Blantyre on the sidelines of a pension workshop the firm organised for its clients and potential clients. He…

Rising maize prices Hit poor families

Poor households have started engaging in consumption-based coping mechanisms in response to rising maize prices, the Famine and Early Systems Network (FewsNet) has said. FewsNet Malawi Food Security Outlook for October 2019 to May 2020 indicates that despite near-average national maize production, food prices are way above average throughout the country with Mitundu in Lilongwe,…

Mera cautious on global  oil price decline impact

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) says although a decline in global oil prices is good news, its trickle-down effect largely dwells on whether the economy can hold some of its macroeconomic fundamentals. Mera chief executive officer Collins Magalasi said in an interview on Tuesday that global decline in oil prices could potentially ease consumers’ burden,…

Economists under the banner of Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) converge on Mangochi tomorrow for a two-day conference to discuss critical matters affecting the country’s economy. At the centre of this year’s Ecama Annual Lakeshore Conference are the challenges and opportunities of population growth for the country’s economic development, which is also the conference’s main…

Collateral hampers SMEs access to loans

Despite softer lending rates, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) say they are still facing challenges to access finance due to strict collateral requirements. Chamber for Small and Medium Businesses Association executive secretary James Chiutsi said in an interview on Sunday that this scenario is stifling the growth of the sector that has the potential to…

Mining revenue stalls

Despite offering prospects of increased economic activities, revenue generated by the Department of Mines in the last two years has stalled. According to Treasury figures, between July 2017 to April 2018, the department generated K500 million from royalties, license processing and ground fees, just as the same period the previous year. During the review period,…

World Bank says women hold key to growth

The World Bank says closing the opportunity gap for women by removing barriers to their economic participation is key to boosting growth for economies in the sub-Saharan region, including Malawi. In its October 2019 African Pulse, the Bretton Woods institution said Malawi, alongside Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Chad, the Comoros, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea,…