President Akufo-Addo has called on Ghanaians to accept the Electronic Levy bill (E-levy), saying he is confident the 1.5 percent tax will make a significant contribution to revenue mobilisation and management of the national economy.
The controversial E-levy was passed at 1.5 by parliament despite a walkout by the minority group in the House on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. It currently awaits assent of the president to become operational, despite the Minorities’ argument that the passage was unconstitutional.
Presenting his State of the Nation Address yesterday, the president commended members of parliament for passing the bill and called on the citizenry to accept it to deal with the current economic crisis, adding it presents an opportunity for the country to revive its economy.
“Despite the protracted and sometimes acrimonious nature of proceedings, I am happy that the House has, finally, found it possible to pass the E-levy. I believe the levy is going to make a significant contribution to revenue mobilisation and management of the economy, and I want to thank members of the House for making this possible.
“There are many problems that we have to overcome to get back to where we ought to be. I need your support…We need all Ghanaians to pull and push together,” the president said.
The E-levy is expected to raise about GH¢6.9billion in 2022, and will ensure that the citizenry contribute their share toward development of the country.
President Akufo Addo, who admitted the country’s economic crisis, said his government is ready to resuscitate it.
“The road to recovery will be hard and long, but we have started on a good footing by accepting that we are in a difficult place and are taking the difficult decisions which will get us out. If anyone ever had any doubts about the need to be self-reliant, the point has now been forcibly drilled home to us. Pursuit of the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda is even more compelling now,” he said.
The E-levy, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said, will broaden the country’s tax base by imposing the levy on electronic transfers to enhance government’s drive for revenue mobilisation.
The E-levy was introduced by government in the 2022 Budget for basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions. The rate will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis. It is however different from the 1 percent telcos currently charge on transactions.
After it was announced in the 2022 Budget statement, the E-levy sparked several controversies – with people arguing it will lead to double taxation and worsen the economic plight of Ghanaians. The bill’s opposers have lamented that it will hit hardest low-income earners who rely on daily mobile money transfers to survive.