Local fiscal and revenue collection activities have the potential to flourish, if existing SMEs were to begin accessing National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) loans.
The view by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), follows the government’s recent admission of challenges affecting revenue collection amid public protests about the worsening tax burden.
According to the MCCCI, Treasury could broaden the tax base by extending NEEF loans to MRA registered SMEs which would; in return pay taxes from their profits.
Currently, most NEEF beneficiaries are not tracked by MRA for taxation related issues.
Meanwhile, National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) Executive Coordinator, William Mwale is welcoming the suggestion, saying the fund should be inclusive and flexible.
The Malawi Revenue Authority has a target of at least K1.5 trillion to feed into the national budget.
The Tonse administration through the Ministry of Finance is mobilising stakeholders to be part of the solution to the country’s economic challenges.
Finance Minister Sosten Gwengwe issued the call during the second pre-budget consultation meeting in Lilongwe for the 2023/2024 national budget.
According to Gwengwe, the citizenry should avoid looking at the national budget as an expenditure vehicle, saying such assumptions have negatively affected the economy.