Chikwawa Central Member of Parliament (MP) Zaheer Gaffar Issa (Independent) proposed in Parliament on Friday that the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development should allow districts retain five percent of taxes collected in their jurisdiction for development.
Making his contribution to the debate on the proposed 2016/17 National Budget, the legislator said in his home district, Chikwawa, Illovo Sugar (Malawi) Limited operates Nchalo Sugar Estate and contributes billions of kwacha in taxes to government, but the district does not benefit from the contributions.
He said: “Like last year, Illovo contributed over K6 billion in taxes and if five percent of this amount is retained in the district, we would be assured of development. People in Chikwawa need to benefit from these taxes.”
Issa also asked Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe to consider increasing the Local Development Fund (LDF).
In her contribution to the budget debate, Salima North West MP Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) said the country needs to address land issues if it is to achieve food security.
She said there is need to table and pass the Land Bill as the proposed law is a prerequisite to food security.
Kabwila also delved into the national identity cards issue, questioning the National Registration Bureau on why the proposed identity will have an expiry date.
“This does not make sense, why should an identity have an expiry date? Even if there will be no financial obligation but it will be difficult for people, especially from my constituency, to start queuing for renewal once it has expired,” she said.
Speaker of National Assembly Richard Msowoya told the House that arrangements have been made that bureau officials meet the MPs to explain issues raised on the IDs.