Malawians will have a cheer from the national budget due to be presented next months as government plans to reduce import duty on cars by 22 percent, Nyasa Times understands.
If the proposal sees the light of day, Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe will present it in the national budget during the parliament sitting scheduled to start from September 1
“We need to stop looking at cars as luxury items; they are a necessity in the modern world,” a treasury source told Nyasa Times.
There have been calls to reduce taxes on the importation of cars mostly second hand vehicles.
The current taxation on cars includes an import duty of 25%, an excise duty that varies due to year of make and engine capacity ranging from 5-100 %, a surtax of 16.5% and a K15,000 fixed destination inspection fees (DIF) for all items valued over K300,000.00.The revised taxation system, introduced four years ago, applies an excise duty to second-hand vehicles that rises in line with the age of the vehicle,
Many older cars emit higher levels of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons, all of which are greenhouse gases that trap heat and warm the climate.
But Wells Utembe, lecturer in environmental sciences at Malawi Polytechnic argues that “forcing Malawians to pay huge motor vehicle taxes from their meager salaries in order to reduce the already small contribution of cars to green house gas emissions in Malawi is very punitive, inconsiderate and a gross abuse. It does not make sense.”
Second-hand vehicles are popular with Malawians who many cannot afford brand new cars .
Authorities say up to 3,000 used vehicles were being imported into the country monthly.