Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has said modernisation of Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) operations will boost collection of domestic revenue which government has been relying on for the past three years.
Secretary to the Treasury Ben Botolo said this on Friday in Blantyre during the launch of the MRA information and communications technology (ICT) innovations which include Automated Systems for Customs Data (Asycuda) World, E-payment and Document Validation System for the public tax collector.
Besides eliminating delays at the border, Asycuda World will enable the tax collector to obtain prior customs data which will be crucial for planning and risk management to level the playing field for all importers as well as sealing possible revenue leakages.
On the other hand, e-payments system will enable a taxpayer to use various channels depending on the bank capacity to embrace modern technologies while document validation system allows the taxpayer to verify and authentic
MRA documents through quick response (QR) codes, mobile phones and the web portal.
Botolo said the coming in of the modernised systems and MRA exceeding the revenue target for the first 11 months by over K34 billion is a demonstration that government can mobilise resources locally to support the budget needs.
He said: “The e-payments platform will go a long way towards achieving our goal of paperless transaction. This system will drastically improve the lag of remittances of tax collections to the Reserve Bank of Malawi [RBM] which had a spiral down effect on the country’s domestic borrowing as government had to resort to short-term borrowing to bridge the delayed inflows.”
In the 2017/18 National Budget, government has projected to collect K980.3 billion in domestic revenue, which is 19.7 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
In his remarks, MRA commissioner general Tom Gray Malata said the new systems will help curtail fraud and offer convenience to taxpayers.
“We have seen fraudsters using fake customs documents, fake tax clearance certificates to deceive and externalise funds. These challenges were deplorable in 21st century and by a body seeking first class service for its customers,” he said.n