MRA pays out Tobacco farmers K6.9 billion

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Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) has disbursed K6.95 billion between April 2022 to April 2023 to Tobacco farmers who paid their withholding tax from sales in the last 6 years, a record amount paid to any entity within a year.

This was revealed at a joint meeting on Withholding Tax Returns held by the revenue collection body and the Tobacco Commission (TC) with leaders of farmer clubs from the Central region who championed the processing of the refunds.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting on Friday, MRA Commissioner General John Bizwick said the engagement was critical for a dialogue on how the refunds are processed with reports showing that there was growing discontent among the growers

On his part, Chief Executive Officer for Tobacco Commission Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga highlighted the need for such interface meetings, describing the Tobacco farming industry as ‘too fragile to leave farmers unhappy.’

“As a commission our job is to ensure that growers are happy because failure to do that makes others opt out of the system,” he said.

Malunga added that some of the challenges which led to the refunding delays included wrong account numbers, dormant bank accounts and lack of understanding by farmers on the process.

Leader of the farmers, Group Village Head Kasangazi expressed gratitude for engaging with the two state bodies saying the long overdue refunds have aided many farmers in the two recent growing seasons

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