Government must intensify public education on E-Levy – Economist

Tema, Nov. 23, GNA - The Reverend Dr. Sam Worlanyo Mensah, an Economist and Executive Director of the Centre for Greater Impact Africa has tasked Government to undertake concentrated education on its proposed E-Transaction Levy.

He Ghanaians needed education on the E-Levy policy because what Government was trying to achieve was misunderstood by the public.

Rev. Dr. Mensah who is also the Presiding Bishop of Christ White House Chapel International stated during analyses of the 2022 Economic Policy and Budget presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office’s Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform.

The Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue is a media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial operators to communicate to the world.

Rev. Mensah said, “the 1.75 per cent E-Levy has to do much more with when one transact business from his or her mobile wallet to any other electronic transactions, so it’s not like when you are going to withdraw money from your mobile wallet then they will charge you 1.75.”

He explained that “the E-Levy was all about electronic transactions such as transferring money from one’s bank account to his or her mobile money wallet and vice versa, explaining further that buying something from the internet and making a payment would be applied, among others.

“If I am selling something on the internet that will apply so I don’t know why the government has allowed just the public to have a different understanding and government too gradually is buying into that but actually it’s not about the normal momo that we do”.

Rev. Dr. Mensah expressed worry that there was no social education on issues of the budget noting that currently, all the information the public was receiving was about political information “we are not having the real economic information that will help educate the public.”

He wondered why the Ministry of Finance had allowed the public especially politicians from both the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to put a spin on the interpretation of the E-Levy.

Replying to the question of whether the E-Levy would derail the gains made by Ghana towards a cashless system, he said government was being smart and ahead of development to make revenue.

He said the world was moving from normal traditional to a more digital economy so everything would be done on the internet, adding that “if government wants to rely on the traditional system of revenue generation it was likely Ghana would not get anything at all as people would decide to only transact business online to avoid paying taxes.

“If I can sell all my office equipment online, I will not sell it physically for government to tax me, so government wants to take a smart move ahead of us and make sure that if all migrate from the traditional economy to a digital economy, government is also there waiting for us and I believe that it’s a very smart way of planning and that is going to help government,” he added.

Rev. Dr. Mensah added that the accuracy of getting the e-levy revenue was assured as there would be no human interferences, which he indicated would address corrupt practices associated with revenue collection.

Mr Francis Ameyibor, GNA Tema Regional Manager explained that the Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform formed part of a broader objective of the Agency towards revamping its operations.

He said under the Management of Mr Albert Kofi Owusu the agency had embarked on a process of revamping its newsgathering operations, towards the production of digital news content and the acquisition of modern digital equipment to aid speedy transmission of stories from the field.

He said GNA was poised to be the source of news on Ghana’s investment and industrialization drive, economic and tourism potential through story exchanges with its international partners, and Tema serving as a major industrial city, “GNA Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue Platform,” is critical as we move forward.

Mr. Ameyibor, said as industrial new hub, “GNA-Tema Regional Office “we found the need to engage those who understand economics to help us educate the people as part of our contribution to good governance”.