E-levy, a u-turn of Government’s cash-lite economic policy
The E-Commerce Association of Ghana says government’s efforts to digitize the economy would be a waste if the e-levy policy takes effect in 2022.
It said “the initiative would erode all gains made by government’s digitization agenda and be a major U-turn to the government’s vision on a Cash-lite economy.”
A statement issued in Accra by Mr Paul Asinor, the Executive Director of the Association, said even though the initiative would expand government’s revenue collection base, the initiative had a far-reaching consequence on customers and in turn, their businesses if not carefully looked at.
It explained that customers would return to the use of physical cash in the face of efforts in place to digitize the system that would inversely increase cash transactions, jeopardizing financial safety of customers and consumers in general.
The statement said the Association stated that this would negatively affect their productivity drastically due to the expected decline in online sales, when people keep their monies physically trying to avoid “double taxation”.
“Among the major concerns of the Association is the reduction in online sales resulting in tax reduction to the government, loss of jobs in the ecommerce, financial technology industries and the encouragement of the use of physical cash at the expense of the e-cash with its associate challenges,” he added.
The Association, therefore, called on government and stakeholders to deliberate on the impact of the e-levy on businesses to see the best possible way to handle it.
On Wednesday, November 17, 2021, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, on behalf of government, presented the 2022 budget, indicating a 1.75 percent charge on all electronic transactions.
These charges will affect all online transactions such as mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchants and inward remittance across the country.