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We’re not in normal times – CFELAG rejects E-levy

The Center for Excellence Leadership and Accountable Governance (CFELAG) has urged Ghanaians to collectively kick against the introduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).

“We must resist this e-levy because we have an anthem that says we must resist every oppressor’s rule that comes our way. We must be bold for this country,” Executive Director of CFELAG Dr Z.O. Hunter, stated.

He held a strong view that 1.75% levy slapped on Ghanaians was ill-timed, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in loss of jobs, economic hardships, and financial strain on many households.

Dr Hunter emphasised that President Nana Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation on the COVID-19 fight has countlessly reiterated that “we are not in normal times”.

“So why do you want to force this E-Levy down the neck of Ghanaians?” he questioned.

He expressed “disappointed in both the minority and majority” while emphasizing that “the e-levy is not acceptable, it is not correct, and that the government must go and do more negotiations”.

The position of CFELAG echoes the sentiments of the minority in parliament, some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and analysts who have raised concerns over the new tax.

Investment banking firm C-nergy Ghana Limited, for example, has said that “the 1.75% E-Transactions levy rate is high”.

C-nergy also pointed out that the E-Transactions levy could be counter-productive.

“Gains made as a result of the country’s push for financial inclusion and a cashless economy could be reversed, because users of these platforms may opt for cheaper alternative payment avenues in order to avoid this tax”.

The proposed levy will be charged on mobile money and other electronic transactions that exceed GHC100 per day.

This is aimed at boosting domestic tax mobilization efforts to infrastructure needs to accelerate economic transformation.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta believes the new move is a “greatest opportunity to, in the medium term, broaden the tax base and meet the Tax to GDP ratio of 20% as pertains among our peers.”

The E-Levy is expected to generate an estimated amount of GH¢ 6,96 billion in 2022, GH¢7.89 billion in 2023, GH¢8.92 billion in 2024 and GH¢10.09 billion in 2025.

The levy is expected to replace road tolls collected at various booths across the country.

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