Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has ordered a local blanket manufacturer to pay K2.5 million as duty for unraised blankets the company imported and around K1.2 million as fine for duty evasion.
The Blantyre-based blanket manufacturing firm, Xing Long Enterprises, imported the unraised blankets in roll form, but were declared as knitted fabrics, a semi-finished product that is used to produce blankets but does not attract duty, according to MRA sources.
Xing Long Lee, owner of the firm, confirmed in an interview recently that MRA ordered him to pay duty and a fine of over K1 million for evading duty.
But he denied evading duty, arguing he innocently imported the materials before the 2012/13 financial year budget statement was presented and passed in Parliament. This, he said, brought in some changes on imported mat erials that attract duty.
Lee said the imported goods arrived after the national budget was passed.
The trader, according to the documents seen by Weekend Nation, cleared 113 bales imported from China on May 17 2012 .
McHizzal Kawanga of MRA public relations office asked for a questionnaire last week, but he later on said in an interview that the institution was not allowed to comment on matters regarding their clients.