Dr Kingsley Nyarko, Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso, has appealed to Ghanaians to accept the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-levy) which has been passed by parliament, to help grow the country’s economy.
He expressed the hope that the e-levy would be a game-changer because it would make a significant contribution to revenue mobilsation and the management of the Ghanaian economy.
“I’m happy the e-levy is finally passed. It will be a game-changer since it would broaden the tax net and help generate enough revenue for government projects,” he said.
Dr Nyarko was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi, after Parliament, on Tuesday, March 29, passed the 1.5 per cent e-levy despite the Minority MP’s walking out of the Chamber.
The e-levy is a new tax measure introduced by the government in the 2022 Budget on basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions.
The e-levy since its announcement, has been the topic of discussion as some citizens have expressed dissatisfaction about it.
There have also been varied arguments by financial and tax experts concerning it and had suffered the full attention of the hung parliament.
Dr Nyarko indicated that in 2019, the world was hit with a pandemic that had destabilized all economies.
The COVID-19 gave scientists and researchers a tough time, and it was still posing health and economic challenges to countries around the globe.
According to him, the threats posed by the virus made the government take decisions and steps in order to contain the virus and also to protect lives and properties.
The MP said the pandemic had negatively impacted the Ghanaian economy and cannot be denied the needed collective efforts to address it.
Dr Nyarko pointed out that the outbreak of the pandemic with its associated lockdowns, reduced anticipated revenue to GH¢11.9 billion, increased expenditure to GH¢14.1 billion, which meant that effective fiscal measures had to be implemented to revive the economy.
According to Dr Nyarko, the e-levy, though could not be the solution to all the socio-economic ills, would be one of the most innovative solutions to give the country additional revenue and the fiscal space to improve upon the socio-economic fortunes of the country.
The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net as it could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.
Dr Nyarko urged the people of Ghana to accept the innovative revenue enhancing intervention, adding that, “it is a rare opportunity to help the economy out from our perennial revenue enhancement difficulties.”