Forget about the e-levy; It’s no time for jerky manoeuvres – Kwame Pianim

BY: Maxwell Akalaare
Mr Kwame Pianim
Mr Kwame Pianim

Economist and New Patriotic Party (NPP) stalwart, Mr. Kwame Pianim has asked the Ministry of Finance take advantage of the ongoing Budget process crisis for more reflection and consultations.

“This is not the time for jerky manoeuvres”, he says in a wide-ranging counsel he shares with various sections of the society, including parliamentarians, the government, the Finance Ministry, and organized labour.

According to Kwame Pianim, the Finance Ministry should not seek to stress further, a people struggling to survive; rather it should focus on “expenditure cuts and husbanding our scarce resources.”

Pianim's pieces of advise are in response to questions on the 2022 Budget.

“Kindly restore the toll booths to protect the fresh foodstuff markets that have developed around them," he counseled the Finance Ministry, adding that "if not restored quickly we may do damage to the rural economy and especially the women traders there”.

Mr. Pianim also wants the Finance Ministry to forget about the proposed implementation of an electronic transactions tax, commonly called e-levy, which seeks to impose a 1.75 per cent tax on all electronic transactions exceeding GH¢100 in a day.

According to him, the e-levy “is anti-technology progress and may undermine the significant progress being achieved in financial inclusion for the unbanked.”

He counsels that if the Ministry needs money, it should arrange with Bank of Ghana to collect the interest on MoMo wallets that do not benefit the average MoMo user.

He also asked the government to “take a step back from the brink, listen creatively to the pain of our people and focus on providing a caring administration and preserving national cohesion and keeping the economy on an even keel in these stormy weathers!”

He recalled President Akufo-Addo’s words of caution that government’s priority in the pandemic is to keep Ghanaians alive by growing the economy instead of trying the impossible of bringing back the dead to life.