Despite the widespread public outcry, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has still commenced and implementing the carbon tax with hundreds of taxpayers successfully paying the tax from Monday this week.
Government says it introduced the tax for motorists to move towards mitigation of the effects of climate change and motorists will pay every year when they are renewing cars certificate of fitness (COF).
But still, Malawians took to the social media to express their views on the matter with some calling for proper follow through of the collected taxes.
Economist and social media commentator Henry Kachaje lambasted those complaining in his Facebook post that they should consider using bicycles and other means of transport if they are against the tax which is roughly translating into K22 per day.
He also implored Malawians to be in touch with proceedings in Parliamen where all laws in Malawi are made since tax is a law.
Much as it has commended the implementation, Centre for Envirnomental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA) is calling for a proper fund where the tax should accumulat. This they say will effectively bankroll environmental restoration programmes that should be assigned to a proper public office that will account for its activities.
Others are saying government rushed the decision as they will collect less because the tax is supposed to be paid per year. This school of thought is for introduction of a fuel levy that can accumulate into more funds faster as it will not be restricted to 12 months as is the case.
MRA says on first day over 170 motor vehicle owners paid the tax and obtained carbon tax discs after a successful start at Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services (DRTSS) offices.
The tax bull’s director of policy planning and research Waziona Ligomeka has since opened up for wider public suggestions on how to improve the system for all players.