The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Kwadaso, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, has appealed to Ghanaians to accept the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) to help grow the country’s economy.
He said the E-Levy would be a game-changer because it would make a significant contribution to revenue mobilisation 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 to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi following the passage of the E-Levy bill by Parliament 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.
It has been the topic of discussion as citizens have expressed dissatisfaction about it.
There have also been varied arguments by financial and tax experts concerning it and had engaged the full attention of the hung Parliament.
Dr Nyarko indicated that in 2019, the world was hit with a pandemic that had destabilised all economies.
He observed that the COVID-19 pandemic had given 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 pandemic made the government take decisions and steps to contain the virus and also to protect lives and properties.
Dr Nyarko said the pandemic had negatively impacted the Ghanaian economy and cannot be denied the needed collective efforts to address it.
He pointed out that the outbreak of the pandemic with its associated lockdowns reduced the 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, although the E-Levy could not be the solution to all the socio-economic ills, it 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.” - GNA