Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, has disclosed that the proposed 1.75% e-levy by government in the 2022 budget is not a compulsory tax and Ghanaians can opt for not engaging in any mobile money transaction.
According to him, the e-levy is a laudable initiative by government since it is designed to ensure mobilization of more revenue for the country to carry out development project. Mr Ahenkorah explained that he finds it difficult to comprehend the opposition against the proposed levy.
The former Deputy Minister of Trade made these statements following a protest by public advocacy group, ‘Justice for Ghana’, who are against the proposed 1.75% e-levy.
“It is not a compulsory tax, if you don’t do MoMo, you don’t pay. So, if you don’t want to pay, don’t do MoMo. It’s simple”.Mr Carlos Ahenkorah
The protest group, led by Bernard Mornarh, a former Chairman of People’s National Conventions, insists that the e-levy is unnecessary due to its potential to impose more burden on struggling Ghanaians.
Reacting to this, the Tema West legislator indicated that the agitation by the group does not pose well for the progress of the country. Mr Ahenkorah revealed that the protesters should rather furnish government with ideas instead of opposing the 1.75% e-levy.
Mr Ahenkorah expressed that should the e-levy be scrapped, the government may have to resort to borrowing from other sources, which would eventually become a burden on citizens.
“What I’m telling them is that they don’t seem to understand what’s going on. Look, if they continue, and government decides that fine, I am not going to charge anymore e-levy, government would have to go and borrow that money, and it becomes me and you our burden to pay. So, they should forget about what they’re doing and rather let us see how we can assist government to run this country”.Mr Carlos Ahenkorah
Burdens of e-levy transactions
Commenting on the levy prior to the protest, Mr. Mornah indicated that the post COVID-19 era requires that the government supports businesses to grow rather than burden them with new taxes. He maintained that the times the country finds itself in is one in which government should not consider taxation at all because businesses are “suffocating” and when that happens, they must be given a “reprieve” and not taxes.
According to him, the suggestions that the e-levy will help to significantly transform the country is not true since the leveraging of the country’s natural resources has not had a major effect on the country’s development.
“E-levy is rather a minus on the contributions and rise of entrepreneurship…The government cannot say it needs the e-levy as the only means of surviving before it can ensure development”.Mr Bernard Mornah
Issues on e-levy since its debut in parliament during the reading of the 2022 budget has generated mixed reactions from the public and relevant stakeholders. With strong opposition from the minority, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta during the modification presentation on the budget explained that government is yet to reach an agreement with the Minority side on the controversial e-levy.
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