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E-Levy implementation: Telcos doubt meeting deadline to reconfigure their system before May

Adnan Adams Mohammed

Telecommunication operators in the country are in doubt over meeting the deadline to configure their systems to allow the smooth implementation of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy).

The controversial E-Levy passed by parliament and assented into law by President, Nana Akufo Addo, late last month, is scheduled to take effect next month, May 2022. So the telecomm companies have within a period of one month to reconfigure their system to support the deduction of the tax on the transfers of funds in between mobile money wallets.  

Although the telcos have assured to do their best to ensure the required systems are put in place to collect the E-levy, they say, the right infrastructure must be put in place, and tested to ensure that they are fit for purpose before going live.

“I can’t say whether one month will be enough time for all of those systems [necessary] because if there are major variations that have been made, we’ll need to see whether all the things we were looking at, at the beginning could be done within months”, the Chief Executive of the Chamber of Telecommunications, Ing. Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey, said in an interview.

“From our side, we will do whatever is possible. This is about money, and we don’t want a system where there will be a backlash on it. We need to make sure that we can do the integration with the GRA’s systems and do the user acceptance test and validation to make sure everything is well before we go live. We also know that Parliament has passed the law, and we need to work at that, but those considerations of the practicality of all of that have to be done.”

After President Akufo-Addo assented into the E-levy bill last week, the various stakeholders are under pressure to put in place all the necessary infrastructure to ensure full implementation of the law.

Dr. Ashigbey in an earlier interview said the full details of the bill are yet to be presented to the Chamber for studies, and it will only be after that, that they will decide and make public how they will implement the tax.

“It was only preparatory engagements that were being done and not as if anybody is implementing anything. What Parliament passed is what becomes law. In terms of the engagements we had with GRA, that was the spirit of the fact that the Bill was before Parliament. Since we had those initial conversations, there hasn’t been any implementation.”

“I have not seen the bill that has been passed, so we have not seen the date in there, so it will depend on what the GRA directs for our members to follow and configure their systems. So, there is still a lot to be done, and we are still waiting”, he said.

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