header('Content-type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1'); E-levy: gov’t intensifies sensitization amidst strong opposition - News Guide Africa
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E-levy: gov’t intensifies sensitization amidst strong opposition

Adnan Adams Mohammed The Government has doubled its effort on public sensitization as it holds town hall meetings on intended introduction of the ‘controversial’ Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy) bill. The exercise forms part of a series of engagements the government has planned with the aim of explaining the importance of the E-levy as well as taking feedback and inputs from relevant stakeholders on the levy. It also says the feedback will inform the government on the implementation of the levy. This comes in the midst of strong opposition from majority of the citizens and the minority in parliament. Latest to register its displeasure is the Concerned Central Market Traders Association in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region. According to them, the e-Levy will have a negative effect on their businesses if introduced and have called on the government to rescind its decision to get parliament to pass the bill. The association which has described the 1.75 percent electronic transaction levy proposed by government as a “lazy man’s” approach wants the tax net widened instead, to get more people to pay taxes. “To me, I think the government is lazy because in Ghana, we have so many people who don’t pay tax so the government should open the tax net, and catch more people inside the net. So he’ll get more money to develop Ghana than the cheap way they’re trying to use”, Chairman for the Concerned Central Market Traders Association, Frank Antwi, speaking in an interview on a radio station bemoaned the effect the levy will have on their businesses as its members rely on the use of Mobile money to transact business. “When you talk about trading in Kumasi here, our customers always come from nearby villages so sometimes they call you and send you momo to buy them the goods. “So what you do is, you just get the goods prepared for them. E-Levy, it [will] create problems for us, so the government should sit and think again.” The first town hall meeting, held in Koforidua last week, featured; Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin. The E-levy is a new tax measure introduced by the government in the 2022 Budget on basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions. A charge of 1.75% will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis. Ken Ofori-Atta last week gave hints of the planned town hall meeting during a press conference. He said the government is convinced about the need for the e-levy and how it encapsulates the idea of burden-sharing for Ghana’s development. Meanwhile, some sections of citizens want the government to reduce the 1.75 percent if it would not cancel the entire levy.

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