MRA Head Optimistic the Tax Collecting Body Will Surpass K1.1 Trillion Target in Revenue
In his report to the committee, the Head of Malawi Revenue Authority said for five years running, MRA has been missing revenue targets set in the presentation of national budgets.
For example, in the 2018/2019 Financial Year, MRA failed to meet its K1.249 trillion target by 6.1 percent only collecting K1.17 trillion instead.
The situation was not any different in the 2019/2020 financial year when the revenue collecting body yet again failed to attain the projected revenue owing to Covid-19 and the political instability in the wake of the disputed May 2019 polls.
But Speaking Monday after appearing before the Parliamentary Cluster Committee of budget And Finance, MRA Commissioner General John Biswick said they are upbeat they will beat the target.
“We have put up in place measures that will help in collecting revenues. Last year, we failed to meet target was not that conducive but we have hope that the situation will change this year. We have a very dedicated team that is set to deliver,” said Biswick.
But Budget and Finance Chairperson, Gladys Ganda says the Tonse Alliance led administration has a tall order to attain the campaign and budget promises in view of the challenges facing MRA.
“Looking at the targets set and how the trend has been, I am very pessimistic about the tax collecting body meeting the set target. Nevertheless, let us give them benefit of doubt,” said Ganda.
The 2020/2021 budget currently under discussion by parliament, has increased by 22.9 percent from the 2019/2020 total budget which had a deficit of over 500 billion kwacha.
In his budget statement to parliament, Finance Minister Felix Mlusu said revenues have substantially declined amidst the increased need for resources to mitigate the effects of COVID-1.
He added that during the COVID-19 pandemic period, monthly tax revenue collections have dropped by almost 11 percent compared to revenue collections during the pre-COVID-19 period.
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