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Industry Ministry, CFTC on inspection tour to cooking oil traders amid price soaring

Cooking oil prices high despite VAT removal

By Vincent Gunde

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Ministry of Industry and Trade together with the Competition and Fair Trading Commission [CFTC] have dispatched teams to all cooking oil outlets in the country to conduct inspections and take action against all traders that are still charging Value-Added Tax [VAT] on cooking oil.

The Ministry and CFTC have assured consumers that will not tolerate any trader taking advantage of them and will not hesitate to issue relevant penalties where traders are found taking advantage of consumers and violating their rights as provided for under the law.

In a statement signed by Mark Katsonga Phiri Minister of Industry and Trade, the Ministry and in collaboration with CFTC say they have observed with concern that since the removal of VAT by Government as duly gazetted, the suppliers of cooking oil are not reducing prices by the VAT percentage.

The Ministry and CFTC say these developments are coming as a surprise as the same suppliers acted with speed to increase their prices when the Government introduced VAT on the same products in November, 2020.

Cooking oil is high despite VAT removal

They have also observed with much concern that since the seating of Parliament in February, 2022 during which it was announced that Government was removing the 16.5% VAT on edible cooking oil, the same suppliers reacted by increasing the prices by a margin of about 50 percent within two months.

The statement says following the removal of VAT on edible cooking oil, Government expected suppliers of edible cooking oil to immediately cease and desist from charging VAT on the said cooking oil.

“If any member of the public suspects any trader of the above stated conduct, they should report the same to; the Ministry’s Public Relations Officer, Mayeso Msokera on 0999150618 or the Public Relations Officer for CFTC, Innocent Helema on 0880725075,” reads part of the statement.

Meanwhile, social media users have accused the Trade Minister Katsonga Phiri of rushing to assure Malawians on VAT reduction before holding discussions with cooking oil manufacturing companies that come 1st April, 2022, edible cooking oil prices, down.

The users have also accused the Minister of failing to disclose the exact price of 2L bottle of edible cooking oil which is now at MK7,500 and after VAT reduction what its price will be saying the Ministry is just running away from the truth that minus VAT edible cooking prices will not go down for the majority poor to clap hands at Government.

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