The Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta is calling on Ghanaians and Members of Parliament in the Northern Region to support the passage of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) Bill.
According to him, his Ministry is hopeful that the e-levy would generate funds to enable them construct more roads.
“So the people of this county and the people of Tamale, All MPs in Tamale you must support the passage of the e-levy bill for more to be done for them and their constituencies,” he appealed.
Also, the Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said that the current state of the economy calls for alternative sources of revenue to close the gap, hence the e-levy.
According to him, the e-levy would help generate revenue to relieve farmers of their plight therefore “if we’re are to remove the levy, where are we going to find the money to give subsidy to the farmers, there would be nothing,”
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 budget on Wednesday, November 17, announced that the government intends to introduce an Electronic Transaction Levy (e-levy).
The levy, he revealed, is being introduced to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector”. This followed a previous announcement that the government intends to halt the collection of road tolls.
The proposed levy, which was expected to come into effect in January, 2022, is a charge of 1.75% on the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.
Explaining the government’s decision, the Finance Minister revealed that the total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated to be over GH¢500 billion (about $81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion ($12.5 billion) in 2016. Thus, the need to widen the tax net to include the informal sector.
Although the government has argued that it is an innovative way to generate revenue, scores of citizens and stakeholders expressed varied sentiments on its appropriateness with many standing firmly against it.
Even though others have argued in support of the levy, a section of the populace believe that the 1.75% e-levy is an insensitive tax policy that will deepen the already prevailing hardship in the country.