Vice-President Saulos Chilima yesterday wrapped up his Southern Region campaign with promises of mass tax incentives, including removal of 16.5 percent value added tax (VAT) on airtime, electricity and water, if elected president.
Delivering a speech that sounded more like an outline of a national budget, a visibly fired up Chilima, who paid tribute to the country’s founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda, told his final campaign rally in the commercial hub at Njamba Freedom Park that removing VAT from water, electricity and airtime will go a long way in improving Malawians’ lives..
To a deafening applause, the UTM Party presidential candidate announced that his administration also plans to introduce “duty-free” week in the calendar to give relief to taxpayers.
But Chilima, a former private sector executive who rose to become Airtel Malawi’s first Malawian managing director before President Peter Mutharika picked him as running mate in 2014 and eventually the country’s Vice-President, clarified that the “duty-free” week would only benefit tax-compliant importers and businesses with tax certificates from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
The country’s Vice-President also highlighted that most luxury 4×4 vehicles plying the country’s roads were not duty cleared. In this regard, he said, to ensure compliance a UTM Party administration would reduce duty on such vehicles for the government purse to get revenue.
Information on MRA website shows that duty on vehicles ranges from 35 percent to 110 percent, with mostly those classified as luxury cars fetching up to 110 percent of the value.
Earlier, Chilima’s running mate Michael Usi said the country’s newest registered political outfit was satisfied it has delivered the message home.
Chilima severed ties with governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and President Peter Mutharika last June and joined United Transformation Movement (UTM), which had started as Chilima Movement within DPP to canvass for his presidential bid on DPP ticket. When the move failed, some DPP national governing council members regrouped to form the new party.