In principle, Politicians across the political divide, Academia, Civil Society Organizations/Policy Think-tanks, Media Practitioners, Professionals in diverse industries/fields and the masses have agreed and have been advocating for widening, broadening or expanding the tax net of Ghana to shore up the revenue mobilization efforts of the Country.
The electronic transactions platform such as Mobile Money via MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo etc. are the only platforms in the Country where both formal and informal sectors of the economy are vibrantly located.
Most Ghanaians believe that for Ghana to be self-sufficient, the Country has to broaden its tax base by concurrently extending the tax net to include the formal and informal sectors of the economy so that the Government can:
1. Enhance domestic revenue mobilization.
2. Sustain ongoing developmental projects and pro-poor policies such as Free SHS.
3. Continue pro-youth programmes under NEIP, GEA, NAELP, NABCO, YEA etc.
4. Stop the over dependence on loans from IMF, World Bank and others in exchange for unnecessary conditionalities which result in freezing employment in the Public Sector.
5. Reduce dependence on foreign aid and donor support from other sovereign Countries.
It is a fact that, since Independence, Ghana has been suffering from perennial deficits as far as the Country’s Budgets are concerned largely due to the low domestic tax revenue mobilization, leakages in tax generation and poor public financial management systems. The most important single remedy for these problems is the adoption and implementation of robust digital solution to broaden/expand/widen the tax net as well as to plug the loopholes in the tax collection, thereby reducing wastage, achieving transparency, efficiency and accountability.
The E-Levy implementation by Ghana Revenue Authority(GRA) in partnership with the Telecommunications companies and the financial institutions would help to ensure accurate data of revenue collected and the citizens would equally have the opportunity to properly play an oversight role as far as revenue accrued from E-levy is concerned.
Therefore, it will purely be an act of dishonesty, for anyone particularly NDC members to fight against E-levy, a policy in fulfillment of expanding the tax base of the Country.
E-levy is a Panacea to Free Ghana from IMF Control: Razak Kojo Opoku Writes
Previously, the International Monetary Fund(IMF) suggested to Akufo-Addo’s Government to consider reinstating some of the Nuisance Taxes that were introduced by John Mahama but abolished by Akufo-Addo’s Government. The IMF also suggested that, Akufo-Addo’s Government should focus on expanding existing taxes in order to meet its revenue projections.
However, it is important to state that, from the records, the total volume of revenue accrued from the Mahama’s 16 nuisance taxes can never be more than the estimated revenue expected from the implementation of the E-levy Policy.
Interestingly, the IMF, John Mahama and majority of NDC Members are against the E-levy Policy, a homegrown policy aimed at improving the domestic revenue mobilization efforts of Ghana’s Government to become independent of IMF and World Bank controls.
Former President John Mahama, NDC Members of Parliament and senior members of NDC have been advocating and urging Akufo-Addo’s Government to run back to IMF for economic bailout caused by COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War. So, one may ask, is IMF, John Mahama and NDC working for the interest of each other?
What benefits does IMF derive if Ghana constantly runs back to the organization? And what benefits would John Mahama and NDC obtain if Akufo-Addo’s Government goes back to IMF just like Previous Governments including Mahama’s Government? Is it for equalization to score cheap political points?
Instead of running back to the International Monetary Fund(IMF) to address the Country’s budget deficit, Akufo-Addo’s Government has taken a very bold decision to use a domestic revenue mobilization strategy through E-levy Policy in spite of resistance from John Mahama/NDC and PR Sabotage from IMF and World Bank.
As at December 2021, the momo transaction value has increased from cumulative value of GHS78billion to GHS978billion, and this became possible because of the Akufo-Addo’s initiative of Mobile Money Interoperability(MMI) which was spearheaded by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice President of the Republic.
The revenue potential of the Electronic transfers or transactions is very huge and a good opportunity for Government to increase the domestic revenue mobilization. It will be totally absurd for any politician to suggest the scrapping of E-levy Act without providing sustainable alternative source of domestic revenue generation which is independent of the IMF or World Bank. Such a politician maybe telling lies to deceive the masses in exchange for their precious votes.
Let’s ignore the noise from John Mahama and NDC, and support Government to Free the Country from the continuous interference and indirect control of the IMF and World Bank.