E-Levy for loans: Akufo-Addo ministers caught deceiving Ghanaians
Adnan Adams Mohammed
Key ministers in the current Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government are on deliberate spree of deceit to hide the truth about the initiation of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
Within a period of a week, two ministers have contradicted themselves exposing how deceitful the government is with regards to the E-Levy policy. As a Deputy Minister for Finance, a week ago denied E-Levy wass going to be used by government as collateral to access additional loans.
In a categorical statement to deny the rumour by the minority in Parliament, Mr. John Ampontuah Kumah stated; “It is not true that the government is going to collateralize e-levy and all that, we are going to have enough revenues to be able to properly deal with the country’s development challenges, for example, to pay contractors working on our roads,” he stated.
Speaking to journalists in Kumasi, Mr Kumah described those assertions as lies and malicious propaganda being peddled by people opposed to the introduction of the levy to create disaffection for the government.
Apparently, as shocking as it was and it will be to the NPP government, the Minister for Roads and Highways revealed on the floor of Parliament that, the government may securitise proceeds from the yet-to-be approved e-levy to raise revenue to construct more roads.
“Government is looking forward to the passage of the e-levy that will bring in greater revenue that will be securitised and then used to raise bonds if possible”, in answering questions in Parliament on Friday, Kwasi Amoako-Atta said
“The government in its wisdom has proposed the passage of the e-levy to bring in more revenue to build the road infrastructure of our country for all of us,” he also said.
Responding to the Minister’s comments in parliament, MP for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts Hagan, said the Roads Minister has revealed the government’s true intentions for the controversial levy.
“As they have factored in the E-levy, the government will still be borrowing up until 2025, which is what they have in the budget.”
“They have demonstrated here today that they actually want the e-levy to go and do more borrowing,” he added.
Mr. Hagan stressed that the government would have to answer for its handling of the e-levy
“We want them to understand that they have to be accountable for all the things that they are doing. If not today, it will be tomorrow.”
Ghana’s total public debt stock stands at GHs 332.4 billion, as of May 2021.
That figure brought Ghana’s debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio to 76.6 percent.
The e-levy seeks to impose a 1.75 per cent levy on some electronic transactions such as mobile money transfers from accounts on one same Electronic Money Issuers (EMI), Mobile Money transfers from accounts on one EMI to a recipient on another EMI and transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts.
Also transfers from mobile money accounts to bank accounts and bank transfers originating from a bank account belonging to an individual will also attract the levy.
However, the announcement of the policy in the 2022 budget by the Finance Minister, had met stiff opposition, especially from the Minority in Parliament, and other groups and individuals.
They argue that the new tax policy if allowed to be implemented will bring untold hardships on Ghanaians who are already suffering severe economic hardships.