SEND Ghana has expressed worry over the lack of an identifiable account for collection of the COVID-19 levy.
The levy is currently channelled into the Consolidated Fund, which it said makes it difficult to track the funds accrued and how it is utilised.
The policy research and advocacy civil society organisation made the observation in its analysis of the 2023 National Budget.
“To sustain gains made in response to COVID-19 and ensure adequate preparedness for future pandemics and emergencies, this is the time for government to channel revenues from the levy into a recognisable fund, such as the proposed public health emergency fund or health security fund, and outline its uses and management to ensure efficiency,” Senior Programmes Officer of SEND Ghana, Harriet Nuamah, advocated.
Known as the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy, it was implemented in 2021 as part of revenue mobilisation measures to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic which bedevilled the Ghanaian economy.
The COVID-19 levy, since its inception, has seen rapid growth from GH¢889million in 2021 to GH¢1.14 billion in 2022.
With an increase of 28.4 percent between 2021 and 2022, government is anticipating to collect some GH¢2.5billion from the levy this year.
SEND Ghana therefore appealed to government to set up a recognisable account for the levy. This, it argues, will make it easy to track its use and management.
Meanwhile, it said that the Ministry of Health is reportedly planning to put in place a health security fund and strategy but it remains unclear whether the levy would be included as part of the proposed fund by the ministry.