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General News of Thursday, 25 November 2021

Source: starrfm.com.gh

E-levy a deviation from tax generation practice in Africa - Economist

The E-levy was contained in the 2022 budget delivered by Ken Ofori-Atta The E-levy was contained in the 2022 budget delivered by Ken Ofori-Atta

An Economist, Daniel Amarteye Anim, said the introduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy also known as E-levy geared at increasing revenue generation is a deviation of the practice in the Africa sub-region.

Speaking to Naa Dedei Tettey on Starr Today on Tuesday, November 23, the Economist reiterated that the E-levy cannot be in consonance with the practice in Africa adding that when introduced Ghanaians must demand that the revenue generated are used for their benefit within the medium term and long term perspective.

According to him, Ghanaians have rejected a similar levy – Financial Service Levy- before so the government would have to look elsewhere if it wants to maximize revenue.

“Initially, when the Minister made the announcement when he was reading the budget, I was of the view that this is the economy that we wanted. We wanted to go cashless and drive digitization and financial inclusiveness, so introducing the E-levy at this time may not be too good and not appropriate.

“More importantly, because we have case study within the Sub-region to suggest and what some of us have read in about Kenya, Uganda and the rest and even back home we have a similar situation.

"If you can recall when the Financial Services levy was introduced, we realized that it will not help financial inclusiveness in terms of people patronizing the products and services of the Commercial Bank. Quickly, it was withdrawn,” Mr. Anim revealed.

What Ofori-Atta said about road tolls

“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” Ken Ofori-Atta hinted while reading the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

He added, “Over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.

"The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.”

The Finance Minister stressed that, “a portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.”

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