MRA alleges that cooking oil producers have conspired to con govt

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has alleged that the dramatic increase in prices for edible cooking oil is a result of collusion among the producers in the country.

But the Edible Cooking Oil Association of Malawi (ECOAM) has dismissed the allegation, further challenging the Authority to provide evidence for its claim.

A senior official at the Authority on Sunday called Nyasa Times expressing his disappointment with the way the local media is reporting on the contentious value added tax (VAT) on cooking oil.

The official, who sought anonymity, argued that contrary to the public view that the increase in prices of cooking oil was a result of the imposition of VAT on raw materials; the truth behind the hike is a collusion among the producers.

CAMA Executive Director with cooking oil producer

Collusion is a non-competitive, secret, and sometimes illegal agreement between rivals, which attempts to disrupt the market’s equilibrium.

The act of collusion involves people or companies, which would typically compete against one another, but who conspire to work together to gain an unfair market advantage.

“If you don’t trust me, ask yourself this question: Who owns these companies? Are they indigenous Malawians or Indians?” he asked.

“Again, if you can check, you will find that all of these Indian producers are related by blood,” he added.

But ECOAM Jayshree Patel rubbished the allegation, challenging that the Authority should provide proof of its claim.

Patel warned that perilous and tougher times await poor citizens if the government does not address their grievances.

“What they are saying is absolutely baseless! Why are they choosing to live in denial? In Mozambique and Zambia, they removed tax on cooking oil and their prices are very low and that is why they are exporting them into this country without any certification,” she said.

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) executive director, Sylvester Namiwa, whose organization is mobilizing nationwide protests to force the government to scrap off the taxes, wondered why MRA was not acting on the companies it alleged to be involved in illegal trade practices.

“That’s a lame excuse and MRA is simply bringing this issue to divert the anger of the people towards innocent people. Let them remove VAT on cooking oil and all this storm will be over,” said Namiwa.

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Farouk Imtiyaz
Farouk Imtiyaz
10 days ago

Why are Cooking Oil Refineries or Manufacturers so Desperate to Remove VAT as VAT on Cooking Oil has Just been just removed 2 to 3 Years Back only

Shona
10 days ago
Reply to  Farouk Imtiyaz

Ask Kapito.He no more represents sitizenary.

Ali Palimandi
11 days ago

True. They are right. Just wait and see what will happen next.

Mat
Mat
11 days ago

If these people have colluded to enhance the prices, let the Competition and Fairtrading Commission donits job.
This an unfair trade practice

Magazi party
Magazi party
11 days ago

Whether collusion or no collusion, removal of VAT is the option that can lower the price to affordable level on vital product. You already had removed it as per CAMA. What made you to bring it back? Just shows that you MRA have run out of strategic options to recover your collection deficit.

Mapopa
Mapopa
9 days ago
Reply to  Magazi party

Exactly. i wonder all this talk talk talk talk, the solution is simple, just to remove VAT on this essential product basi, prices will go down again. Aaa Ya Ya Ya TONSE DRAMA GROUP mabvuto.

Mzozodo
Mzozodo
12 days ago

Mr Jayshree Patel, start buying soya, groundnuts and sunflower seeds from our farmers, you will be exempted. But if you import crude oil, which is a finished product, from Mozambique, the Authority will charge you duties accordingly. Let others buy your companies, while you relocate to Britain

444444No
444444No
12 days ago

Itvery unfortunate that MRA and CAMA choose to disgrace themselves in this way.
All our taxes and labor force goes straight to these Indian pockets ,
I think commenting is useless, but the arm of government is coming. like. Covid money eaters

Swaz
Swaz
12 days ago

Remove them taxes and we shall be happy

Public Opinion Organization
Public Opinion Organization
12 days ago

Cooking Oil companies are indeed have made a Cartel / Syndicate in Malawi to CON MRA and Taxes, They should also not be given Industrial Rebate License as they Do Not Qualify for the same Most of the Cooking Oil Companies are Refineries and Not Manufacturers of Cooking Oil as such they Should Not be given Industrial Rebate and it should be withdrawn as MRA is loosing Duties on the Import of Crude Oil and Processing Materials MRA should Scrutinize the Applications for Industrial Rebates which are submitted by Cooking Oil Refineries and Applications should be Checked properly at the… Read more »

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