MRA continues sexing up figures

Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) which is currently struggling to clean up its image following the K30 billion zero-deficit budget scandal, has once again presented sexed up figures to Parliament of the deficit in their overall revenue collection in the 2011/2012 fiscal year.

MRA management team led by Commissioner General Lloyd Muhara met the Budget and Finance Committee of Parliament Tuesday and presented a paper indicating that their projected total revenue deficit at the end of the fiscal year would be K18 billion.

However, investigations revealed that the total shortfall is estimated to be K29 billion, as per Ministry of Finance papers presented to donors recently.

MRA boss Lloyd Muhara

The revelation has further put in bad light MRA with some members of the Budget and Finance Committee fearing that such continued lies by the revenue collection body puts the country’s image and economic future at risk.

“It seems all we are being told are lies, whatever the authority presented to us are lies too,” said a member of the committee in an interview after meeting the MRA team at New Parliament Building in the capital Lilongwe.

Interesting during the meeting Muhara and his team asked the committee chair to chase journalists covering the meeting despite the Parliamentary Standing Orders being clear that such meetings are open to the public and not to be held in camera.

At the meeting Muhara was accompanied by deputy Commissioner General Chrispin Kulemeka, Head of Finance David Loga, Director of Policy and Research Rosa Mbilizi and Head of Legal Services and Company Secretary Felix Tambulasi.

The presented paper showed that by the end of the fiscal year in June the authority has targeted to collect almost K211.7 billion but the actual figure expected to be collected would be K191.2 billion giving a collection deficit of K20.5 billion.

However, the figure presented by the Director of Budget Dr Dalitso Kabambe showed that the revenue body’s target  was K203.5 billion but instead it is expected that it will collect K174.5 billion which is K29 billion below the target.

Kabambe gave the overall deficit figure as K41.1 billion and an expected government over expenditure by the end of the fiscal year of K13 billion.

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