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Business News of Monday, 21 February 2022

Source: GNA

E-Levy best option to fund government projects - Nana Serwaa

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

Harriet Nana Serwaa, aspiring Greater Accra Regional Youth Organizer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says the best way to generate funds to finance government projects is the implementation of the Electronic Transaction Levy, popularly referred to as, E-Levy.

“We all expect the government to avoid borrowing funds from other countries, in the same way, we do expect it to provide jobs for the citizens. The best option now to generate funds to finance the projects is to accept the implementation of the E-levy,” she said in an engagement with the Ghana News Agency.

Nana Serwaa said governments could only develop nations with taxes and levies and urged the citizenry to accept the E-Levy proposal for the common good.

She asked the youth to support the levy for job creation and rapid socioeconomic development for a better future.

Nana Serwa said the levy offered the best opportunity to expand the tax net for government to be able to fix the country’s numerous challenges and grow the local economy.

“E-levy is the key to industrialisation. We are there. With a little sacrifice, we will reposition this economy for massive growth...” she stated.

On November 17, 2021, Ken Ofori Atta, the Minister of Finance announced during the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement to Parliament the introduction of an Electronic Transaction Leve (E-levy) to be charged on mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant remittances and inward remittances above GHS 100.

The announcement has led to different reactions from various stakeholders and the public. While some support the bill, others have rejected it outrightly.

The 1.75 per cent E-levy has generated controversy since it was announced in the 2022 Budget and has sharply divided Parliament, with the Minority vowing to vote against its passage into law.

The government has, however, announced its intention to reduce the proposed 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent and re-present it before Parliament.

The levy is to allow the government to generate revenue from electronic transactions, including mobile money.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has explained that the E-levy is a deep request from the President to create jobs, build more infrastructure to improve the general well-being of Ghanaians.

He said the current situation where only a percentage of Ghanaians paid taxes was not favourable to realising the rapid socio-economic aspirations of the country.

"The E-levy will make all Ghanaians responsible in paying taxes and reinforce their moral rights to demand for more social amenities and development," he said at a Town Hall Meeting on the Levy, at Takoradi, last week.

The E-levy, he emphasised would help boost education delivery, strengthen internal security, health care services, as well as other government flagship programmes, especially the "YouStart"programme.

Less than 10 percent of Ghana's 30.8 million population pay direct taxes.

“Only 2,364,348 are bearing the burden of the entire population as taxpayers as of August 2021,” the Finance Minister noted in his Budget Statement to Parliament on November 17, 2021.