Forex externalization disheartens Reserve Bank of Malawi governor: Warns ‘black market’

Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor, Dalitso Kabambe, says it is appalling that millions of dollars in forex continue to be moved out of the country by unscrupulous persons and companies at the expense of Malawi’s economy.

Kabambe: Warns forex black market  practice is unlawful 

Kabambe announced that in the last year alone the country has lost a whooping USD394.60m–what he pegged to be an equivalent of MK239.27 billion.

He said the amount is suspected to have been illegally eternalized through transfer pricing by several multinational companies operating in Malawi.

Kabambe says transfer pricing refers “to the setting of price of goods and services sold between controlled or related legal entities within an enterprise.”

Paladin Africa Limited, which runs the Kayerekela Uranium Mine in the lakeshore district of Karonga, is one of them.

Kabambe noted that most cases are where a subsidiary company sold goods to a parent company outside the country.

He said: “The cost of those goods paid by the parent to the subsidiary is the transfer price. Transfer pricing multi-nationally has tax advantages, but we, regulatory authorities, frown upon using transfer pricing for tax avoidance.

“In some cases, the transfer of goods and services from one country to another within an interrelated company transaction can allow a company to avoid tariffs on goods and services exchanged internationally.”

He said transfer prices are supposed to be done “at arms lengths.”

Said Kabambe: “It is therefore disheartening to report that some companies in Malawi are involved in transfer pricing for tax avoidance. Investigations and transfer pricing audits regularly carried out by the Malawi Revenue This is a large percentage of what Malawi has as its foreign exchange reserves.”

According to him, as law enforcement agencies, they will ensure that everyone involved in the malpractice is brought to book as this is a great disfavor to the nation.

Kabambe said in the cities of Lilongwe, Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu and other areas of the country, there exist unlicensed persons who illegally openly sell foreign exchange to the general public.

“This market is also called ‘forex black market’. This practice is unlawful and transactions pertaining to such practices are illegal, bold and unenforceable,” he said.

According to the senior economist, there must be a big no to illegal foreign currency externalization, transfer pricing and money laundering.

“We believe the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) we have just signed will go a long way in curbing these malpractices. We will also ensure that every dollar made from our exports is retained in this country. We will ensure that every remittance is in respect of payment for bonafide importation of goods and services or any other bonafide offshore payment.  But more importantly, we will ensure that the law applies to everyone,” he said.

Until 1994, the Exchange Control function [of foreign currency] was under the Reserve Bank.

But with reforms in the financial sector and liberalization of the economy driven by the IMF, the function was delegated to commercial banks.

It has been disaster for Malawi.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mphwanga
Guest
Mphwanga

START LEVYING TAX ON MANAGEMENT FEES OF MAJOR CORPORATIONS THAT USE SUCH EXPENDITURES TO SIPHON THIS HARD EARNED CASH FROM MALAWI.APPLY A 50% TAX RATE ON SUCH MANAGEMENT FEES. For those companies that practice transfer pricing, slap them with a 300% TAX RATE.

Mphwanga
Guest
Mphwanga

Governor, you do need to spearhead a few issues which should include the following: 1.Stop allowing Chinese who keep money in roofs of their houses which they end up externalizing back to China; 2.From now onwards, revoke all Bureau business licenses that you have issued to foreigners because they don’t have Malawi’s interest at heart. Give those licenses to Malawians. 3.Immigration should stop allowing PAKISTANIS to use Malawi as their base for their onward migration to South Africa. These Pakistanis are also using these funds they externalize to finance TERRORISM back in their country. 4.All bankers that are in cahoots… Read more »

Charlie Banda
Guest
Charlie Banda

Forgive and forget, and God will bless you.

Nyadaufe
Guest

Kabambe knows the people involved in this so called black market and where they do it as it is done openly, but nothing happens So, why why keep on barking other than taking action? So the police is there to arrest opposition politicians?

JSTKMW
Guest
JSTKMW

There is no provision or comment in the report on what a person who has knowledge of companies involved in such malpractices should do. No direction whatsoever. No numbers or addresses provided for the public to know and alert the relevant authorities. We normally see this kind of thing in Malawi. Authorities appear to take a stance against something but do not have the political will or initiative to stop the evil practices, case in point, the killing of albinos.

benjones
Guest

But you are the people helping these criminal.

tuntufye
Guest
tuntufye

Dalitso there are big players involved in externalising forex but as is usually the case in Malawi you will go for small fish. but also as a nation we are busy talking about the problems noone is aggressively identifying and tackling solutions. is it deliberate Malawian attitude or we love singing the same song over and over .

More From Nyasatimes

More From web