The Deputy Minister of Finance, also Member of Parliament for Ejisu, John Ampontuah Kumah, has rubbished the ‘propaganda’ by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members against the E- Levy transactions approved by Parliament in the 2022 budget.
According to him., ” the E-levy is a game-changer and the government is resolute on ensuring that the money when collected is invested in entrepreneurship, roads, and several other projects.”
He cautioned the opposition NDC to stop poisoning the minds of Ghanaians against the E-levy since they know very well the kind of revenue it will accrue to the government and the various projects it will be used for.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa last week posted on his Facebook page that ”it does appear our agitations against the E-Levy is going to affect some shadowy business interests if we succeed in having it scrapped or substantially reduced.
“Appendix 4B at page 242 of the 2022 budget reveals that a colossal GHS241,933,000 has already been set aside to pay for so-called e-Transaction Levy Services. We shall be demanding full disclosure in Parliament on this apparent sweetheart deal.”
“Taxing the poor to make the rich richer. This is most unconscionable,” he noted.
However, the Deputy Minister of Finance, reacting to the claims made by the NDC members, explained that ”on this issue of the allocated money earmarked at Appendix 4B on page 242 of the 2022 budget, the allocated amount will do several things including payment for the services of a third-party service provider who will help in the monitoring, tracking and validation of all the receipts that will come from the e-levy.
“The service of the third party is required if Ghana is to optimize receipts from this levy. Government learning from other experiences in other jurisdictions and our internal processes leaves it with no room for revenue leakage and inefficiency in the collection of the e-levy.
“The GRA will also be supported from this pool since they will be provided with logistics which will help in the collection of this levy.
“The process to select government service providers hasn’t started. It will go through the right procurement process and a value for money audit will be established before the service provider is selected.”
Mr Kumah said the the key point to note is that the government has been transparent and has a game-change budget for the cost that will be associated with the administration and implementation of the levy in line with international best practices.
“Globally, revenue cost is pegged at 2-5% of the total revenue expected. The government is expecting GHC 6.9 billion and GHC241 million as cost of collection which is about 3.5%,” he explained.
He continued that “It is also important for all of us to know that this is just a budget and we may or may not use the full amount for the e-levy services.”