The Tonse Alliance Government has cleared mosques and churches to import building materials duty free. The development revealed by Malawi’s Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu when presenting 2021/2022 National Budget under the theme “Living the Promise” at Parliament building in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
“Government has considered and granted the request by churches for duty free importation of building materials for construction of churches or mosques. Accordingly, the Customs Procedures Code (CPC) 422, which allows churches to import various items duty free will be amended to include building materials,” Mlusu says.
Government has also actualized its campaign promise of introducing a duty free week. “To boost the growth of small businesses and to reinvigorate the economy suffering from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic, Government is introducing a duty-free week for imports not exceeding US$3,000. Taxpayers will benefit from this facility once a year. The dates for the duty-free week will be gazetted within the year for taxpayers to prepare and benefit from it,” Mlusu says.
Malawi’s Finance Minister says the total expenditure for the 2021/2022 fiscal year is programmed at K1.990 trillion, representing 19.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“This represents a drop from 25.2 percent of GDP during the 2020/2021 fiscal year. Of the total expenditure, recurrent expenses are estimated at K1.419 trillion, representing 71.3 percent of total expenditure. Development expenditure, is programed at K570.8 billion, representing 5.6 percent of the rebased GDP. This, however excludes the development expenditure that will be financed through the issuance of the long term development bond where some of the projects will be financed off budget,” Mlusu says.
The Minister says the 2021/2022 overall balance is estimated at a deficit of K718.3 billion, which is 7.0 percent of the rebased GDP, and markedly lower compared to 8.8 percent of GDP during the 2020/2021 fiscal year.
“This deficit will be financed through foreign borrowing amounting to K134.8 billion and domestic borrowing amounting to K583.5 billion, or 5.7 percent of the rebased GDP,” Mlusu says.
The Education sector got the lion’s share of the 2021/22 budget at K327.3 billion (3.2 percent of GDP) representing 16.5 percent of the total budget. Agriculture sector got K284.4 billion, health sector got K187.2 billion, transport and public sector got K208.4 billion while energy sector got K60.7 billion.