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MCCCI’s budget recommendations incorporated in 2024/25 Fiscal Year

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), as the voice of the private sector, submitted budget proposals for the 2024/25 fiscal year.

These proposals were crafted to advocate for policies that enhance the business environment, promote domestic and foreign investment, and address economic challenges faced by Malawi.

Chithyola Banda: acknowledged the private sector’s contributions

Drawing insights from its diverse members across different economic sectors, MCCCI’s submissions focused on areas such as taxation, economic policy and regulatory reforms. The main aim was to provide both immediate relief and long-term solutions to bolster t Malawi’s economic growth and achieve national development goals.

The efforts of MCCCI have been met with positive outcomes, as several proposals have been included in the 2024/25 proposed budget. Notable among these are the introduction of tax allowance for shared-value projects benefitting communities and a reduction of withholding tax on interest from life assurance investments from 20 percent to 15 percent.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola-Banda, in the 2024/25 National Budget presented in parliament recently, acknowledged the private sector’s contributions, reflecting a collaborative approach to economic policymaking.

Treasury’s proposed budget also includes measures to promote import substation and support local industries, such as adjustments to import duties on specific products as proposed by the chamber.

Treasury has since increased import duty on finished iron sheets of tariff subheading 7210.49.90 from 15 to 20 percent, sacks of tariff subheading 6305.33.00 from 20 to 25 percent and introduce a surcharge of 10 percent on sacks for cement packaging.

In response to the Maximum Demand Tariff outcry from the private sector, Treasury has considered this proposal for small and medium businesses when are operating at their maximum capacities to reduce their production costs.

MCCCI expresses appreciation for the inclusion of some of its proposals in the budget but hopes for further consideration of remaining issues. MCCCI continues to advocate for differential rates on local fruit wines vis à vis imported wines and that Excise Rate on local fruit wines should be reduced to 10 percent from the current 95 percent with the aim of supporting the growth of the local fruit wine industry and benefitting domestic small-scale fruit suppliers.

Looking ahead, MCCCI remains committed to advocating for a strong and vibrant financial sector, which plays a crucial role in providing the necessary financial resources for entrepreneurial activities.

MCCCI also seeks revisions to withholding tax rates, from 10 percent to four percent, for contractors and subcontractors in the building and construction industries, aiming to reduce costs and promote growth in these sectors.