Lawmakers in the National Assembly on Wednesday passed bill allowing implementation of one-stop border post with neighbouring countries as one way of improving cross border trade.
Minister of Trade and Industry Mark Katsonga Phiri said the bill is aimed at streamlining operations of all borders to speed up the clearing of goods and people who see travelling to neighbouring countries.
“The beneficiary of this bill is the consumer who is a person who is crossing the border post to do businesses. In developed countries the bill was already passes into law but we are working on t now.
“Now what it means is that if you are going out of Malawi and you are cleared on Malawi side, you will not be stopped again at the neighbouring side. This will reduce the time clearing people and their goods, it also reduces cost of imported goods.” Said Katsonga.
Mean, Mzimba North Parliamentarian Yeremiah Chihana suggested that 16 per cent realised from customs clearing exercise should be channelled towards the development of districts in which boarder posts are housed.
Mark Katsonga said the ministry will have a look into the proposal made.
“When you have house you have to benefits from it. Districts that are being burdened by clearing goods entering into Malawi but there is no direct benefit to the District, so I will have to take this proposal to the Ministry of Finance for considerations,” added Katsonga.
On her part, Machinga East Member of Parliament Esther Jailosi Jolobola said the government should also consider retreating Nayuchi border post which she admitted that it is in bad condition.
Jolobola said the border post is poorly managed hence resulting into the loss of revenue.
She added that starting from the previous government, the post has been neglected for a long time despite that Nayuchi is a big border post and if properly managed, it can bring a lot of revenue in the country.
““Currently the state of the state of Nayuchi border post it is very pathetic as I am speaking with you right now a lot of traders are using uncharted routes for them to transport their commodities to or from Mozambique.
“It becomes very difficult even for those officers who are working with Nayuchi for them to manage or control those uncharted routes because they don’t have resources in terms of vehicles to help them to do patrols,” she explained.
One-stop borders reduce the number of stops in cross-border trade and other transactions by combining and locating at a single location, border and control activities between Malawi and the neighbouring countries.