The National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) has asked government to consider removing Withholding Tax on smallholder tobacco farmers to correspond with the increase of a monthly K100, 000 tax threshold.
NASFAM Chief Executive Officer Dr Betty Chinyamunyamu made the appeal in Lilongwe during a meeting with the Parliamentary Cluster on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Speaking to YONECO, Dr Chinyamunyamu said Smallholder farmers should also enjoy same benefits as salaried employees and that government should also introduce crop insurance to support the enrollment of the Affordable Input Programme in an event of natural calamities.
“In response to increase of tax threshold to MK100, 000 per month (MK1.2 million per annum), we propose a removal of 3% Withholding Tax on smallholder farmers` clubs selling tobacco at the Tobacco Auction Floors,” proposed Dr Chinyamunyamu.
On his part, Action Aid Executive Director Assan Golowa who was also in attendance of the meeting dared the lawmakers to make use of the discussions to the benefit of the country`s citizenry.
“It can be frustrating sometimes when the original budget that was presented last Friday will look closely the same after all these consultations are done, and we are talking to the parliamentarians to make sure that the consultations bear the intended fruits by including issues that Malawians have raised,” said Golowa.
Meanwhile, the Cluster`s Co-Chairperson Werani Chilenga said what the two institutions have presented to their cluster is factual and that they we will work on the suggestions.
“It is our hope that this time things will work differently and we will highlight it in our report very seriously, we won`t just rubberstamp the budget this time around, we will scrutinise it properly,” pledged Chilenga.