Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has said while a levy on sports would help sports development, introducing the same requires that government identifies its target and services to be offered.
The ministry’s Principal Secretary Ben Botolo said this in Blantyre on Tuesday in response to a request by a sports promotion firm Sports Promo during the 2018/19 pre-budget consultative meeting.
He said: “I like levies, but sometimes I don’t even like them. I like to have the budget and collect all money and finance all activities. But in the absence of that, I have rural electrification levy, road levy, fuel levy and now sports levy. Just few minutes ago we were talking of high education levy, where do we target? We need to look at where we target these issues.
“The difference between levy and tax is that levy is direct, but it is supposed to benefit the area as well. For example, rural electrification levy has to supply energy to the communities. Now, trying to introduce sports levy on fuel; people will say wait a minute, what’s there? Therefore, we need to look at the services and where we are levying these ones to improve the service.”
In his request, Sports Promo director Geoffrey Tamutamu said introducing the sports levy would help address the issue of resource in the industry and promote sports.
“One of the biggest challenges we have been facing in the sports industry is the issue of resources. I wanted to ask if it is possible that we can introduce a sports levy, whether it is one percent, towards sports development and those resources could be channelled to the Malawi National Council of Sports [MNCS],” he said.
Tamutamu also said to promote sport development at grass roots level, there is need to have an allocation in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to be used for the construction of small sports facilities in constituencies.
“We understand one of the issues to do with CDF is infrastructure development, is it possible that part of the CDF be used in the construction of small sports facilities in each and every constituency?” he asked to which Botolo’s response was that it is the jurisdiction of members of Parliament, as managers, to debate on the allocations of the said constituencies.