Roads Fund Administration to construct two more toll gates

After the success of toll gates installed along the Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 Road, the Roads Fund Administration is set to construct two more — on the Lilongwe-Mchinji stretch and along Chitemba on the Mzuzu-Karonga road.

The Road Fund spokesperson, Masauko Mngwaluko said the toll gates will be implemented in the next financial budget, whose proceeds from the toll fees are aimed at improving the country’s road network.

The first toll gate was opened in October last year at Chingeni Toll Plaza in Balaka while the Kalinyeke in Dedza was rolled out in December.

In a public statement, the Road Fund Administration had said qualifying motorists shall enjoy Frequent User Discounts and Local User Discounts as prescribed in the Third Schedule of the Roads Fund Administration (Tolls) Regulation 2021.

Frequent User Discounts is only applicable on the 11th passage at the toll gate and thereafter normal fee will apply until the other 11th passage for the discount to apply.

Passages within a month shall not be carried forward to the next month while Local User Discount shall be applicable to only those that reside within a radius of 10kms of the toll gate.

For a person who qualifies for Local User Discounts will have to apply to the authorities and the discount shall be renewable annually.

The fees shall be paid at the toll gate upon passage where receipts shall be issued and the Roads Fund Administration says the money raised shall be used primarily for maintenance and capacity improvements of tolled road.

Meanwhile, Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director, Willie Kambwandira, has called for transparency in the management of the funds to ensure Malawians benefit from them.

While Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) recently issued a statement advising Clerk of Parliament to consider reviewing the many levies that include that for roads added on the fuel prices — that if removed could lead to low prices of fuel.

CAMA argued that the Road Levy was introduced some years back to assist in the construction and rehabilitation of the country’s roads and at a time when systems and mechanisms were not established within relevant institutions.

“This forced Government to load most taxes and levies on fuel,” argued CAMA Executive Secretary John Kapito. “Now that we have a full Road Regulatory Authority — specific for road construction and rehabilitation — it is important to transfer such a tax to this appropriate authority bearing in mind that the Road Authority has just introduced the Toll Gate Tax whose purpose is similar to that of the Road Levy and it is unfair to punish Consumers with double taxation for the same type of service or product.”

Thus Kapito maintains that if the levies — that include Malawi Rural Electrification (MAREP), Malawi Bureau of Standards CESS — are removed, the current prices of the petroleum products at the fuel pump will approximately be K950.00/ltr for petrol and diesel at K931.00/ltr.

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