The National Planning Commission (NPC) has said widespread information about tax and non-tax incentives available for entrepreneurship is important to facilitate the growth of the country’s productive and export sectors.
NPC Director General Dr. Thomas Munthali said this in Lilongwe during the official opening of the Fiscal Incentives for Entrepreneurship Workshop the commission alongside the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, the Malawi Revenue Authority and the Malawi Bureau of Standards hosted on Thursday, October 13, 2022.
The workshop was aimed at bringing to light and demystifying tax administration as well as the required procedures for business people and entities to access and utilize available incentives. It was held under the theme: ‘Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship Towards MW2063 Realisation through Tax and Non-Tax Incentives’
In his address, Dr. Munthali said it is in the interest of government and all stakeholders to ensure that potential and existing entrepreneurs have adequate support to facilitate their establishment and growth for the sake of national transformation.
“Entrepreneurs should know and have access to the available finances from Banks, government and non-state actors that can support entrepreneurship initiatives.
“They should know and access from Ministry of Finance and MRA the tax and non-tax incentives in mining, manufacturing and tourism. They should know and have access to Malawi Bureau of Standards product quality certification at an affordable price,” said Munthali.
He observed that the current triple challenges facing the country of forex shortages, fiscal deficit and unsustainable debt are a result of inadequate levels of entrepreneurship to generate the forex and taxes with which government can retire its debt and support the social services sustainably.
“Without a vibrant and meaningful entrepreneurship base –entrepreneurship that can generate us forex or save us forex and not just dealing with merchandise wholesaling and retailing that drain us the forex, we will continue having government relying on begging and debts – both of which are unsustainable and demeaning,” said Munthali.
On his part, Deputy Director of Revenue Policy in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Gracian Kandiwo – who represented the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs at the workshop, said government is committed to support the development of local entrepreneurs as a key way of transforming the economy.
He called on the Malawi Revenue Authority to ensure wide awareness of various incentives available for local entrepreneurs to ensure that they are used for the development of their business.
“We cannot talk about economic transformation without supporting the growth of our local entrepreneurs,” said Kandiwo.
Representing the Commissioner General of MRA, Head of Corporate Affairs at the revenue collection body Steve Kapoloma said the tax regime has various tax concessions for local entrepreneurs which are aimed at promoting local businesses.
He said, however, that only those entrepreneurs registered as tax payers and fully compliant on taxes can benefit from the incentives.
“We are there to support you as local entrepreneurs. Come, talk to us and learn more about how you can access various tax incentives to support the development of your businesses,” said Kapoloma.