Malawi’s internet tax slammed: ‘Retrogressing, anti-democratic’

Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Dedza East, Juliana Lunguzi, has demanded a halt to a proposed tax on internet use, saying. this move will make Malawians unable to access internet services and therefore be denied their right to information.

Lunguzi: Internet tax is retrogressing for Malawi

Lunguzi: Internet tax is retrogressing for Malawi

Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe delivers 2015-2016 Financial year Budget in Parliament - Pic by Stanley Makuti

Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe delivers 2015-2016 Financial year Budget in Parliament – Pic by Stanley Makuti

Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe announced that starting this year, government will levy 10 percent excise duty on mobile phone text messaging as well as all data transfers including internet and similar services.

Gondwe made the announcement last Friday he presented a national budget for 2015-2016 financial years in Lilongwe at the National Assembly.

“The Internet is very important to a lot of people, especially the youth and students,” Lunguzi said.

But Lunguzi called the internet tax as “retrogressing” saying evening university students will be affected as most of today’s learning is done through electronic research.

She said “this is an e-generation” echoing activists who claim that the tax is “anti-democratic” that aims at restricting freedom of information.

Economist Alock Nyasulu has also protested against the tax on internet , saying it will also lead to “an increase in other related services such as bank charges since banks are a major
consumer of data services with real on time networks.”

Nyasulu said mobile money charges will also likely to go up, a development that will have a negative effect on efforts to increase financial inclusion since the service largely benefits the unbanked rural communities.

International trade expert Watipaso Mkandawire commented: “We should be encouraging bringing this technology to the majority and using it as an enabler. Mobile banking is seen as a way of serving the unbanked majority. And here we are taxing the very same enabler.”

Gondwe said the tax on internet has been put following the “tremendous uptake” of the telecommunication services in Malawi and in order to expand the tax base “to generate resources” for the national budget.

The Finance Minister told the House that there are several Taxation Act amendments which government is proposing.

He said the Taxation Act amendments will be presented to parliament through a bill.

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Chamazaza
Guest
I commend the government in looking for ways to increase our tax base. However, economic prudence needs to be applied, a wholesale application of of some fiscal measures only serves to further marginalise the rural masses who unfortunately account for more than 80% of our nation. For example, Australia in its 2015-16 budget for the first time just introduced its on-line taxes but again only have applied it to goods purchased via internet to a certain capped value. This is what I call prudence, knowing what a country needs, using the resources wisely and then injecting it back into society.… Read more »
Prof Jon Diana
Guest

The so-called undeserving DCs can as well be retired.I’m told someone was high-jumped from P7 to P3.Ironically, the highest paper she has, so I’m fed, is an MSCE! Our 28-district country cannot afford the luxurious excess DCs.Hon. Gowelo, work some miracle here.

sniper
Guest

inu a dpp mwapwala anu enafe tikupanga xul mukuona ngat research tizipanga bwanj nd internet yodula? kuzolowera facebook ya ulere? …ts nt abt political parties koma logic…alomwe odya anyan inu!!!!

winiwa
Guest

MCP ndi a goodall Gondwe waulesi ndani? Inu ntchito attacking,up to now, sitinamvebe mfundo zanu, bola awa zawo tamva.mukatero mwati inu ndalama zoyendetsera boma mudzatenga kuti? Tax makes Government move! unless you give another way. koma zoti a Malawi akhale akapolo a azungu, chifukwa chopempha?mukhala ku Opposition konko mpaka mukalambe inu ,sure!

LACKSON
Guest
Kodi kani ku MCP wanzaru anali kamuzu yekha? nchifukwa chake I will love KAMUZU BANDA forever! and hate those who are ruining MCP now! and I know, they are the ones who are making kamuzu unpopular with their behaviors, kupanda nzeru, kulongolola mpaka nseru zinthu zopanda pake. Ngati kamuzu manged to run smoothly Malawi, by collecting Tax from everybody, without donor money. People were paying for their children education… and nthawi imene yija a Malawi ambiri akungolima. lero a Malawi atukuka akalephere kupereka 10% ku dziko lawo? ndichifukwa mukumapusitsa anthu sukulu za ulele, akalandilenso phala???????? kuchipatala ulele?? asapereke 10kwacha pa… Read more »
HANANIA
Guest

mbuli ya mzimayi. zoti ndi mtsogoleri wachinyamata,akudziwa yekha.MMutu mudamata.Choncho MCP mudzalowe Mmboma? ndakayika.mudzationongera dziko,no Mahala. simunanadziwebe Government is Bussiness? it gives back to the People what it collects from TAX? kani zinazi mumangoziyamba?mxii! mbola

wenena
Guest

Kupanga kuti ma phone azidulidwa % ku ma SMS ndi nzeru, mmalawi amene ali ndi phone Malawi muno wayenera kudula msonkho. asamangozolowera za ulere. Iwe Juliana, kapeze ndalama zaulere uzilandiritsatu.

Namoyo
Guest

Tamanenaninso za nzeru zoti Boma lichite ngati mukuti za anzanu nzaulesi!

zaoneka sizi
Guest

most of them in the parliament, amamgoyenda ndi ma laptop osadziwa how technology work= ma secretary awo ndomwe amadziwa zocita, olo kutsegula email yao yomwe-nde za intrenet awa ndi anta

frazer
Guest

eish! At the time of buying a fon theres tax, buying credit tax and we shud also pay tax at the time of using

eeee guys this is killing us

wpDiscuz

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