E-Levy Won’t Be Scrapped Despite IMF Bailout – Ken Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta says government will not terminate the 1.5% levy on electronic transactions, despite its decision to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help.

A statement from the Finance Ministry addressing pertinent questions that have arisen following the IMF announcement indicated that government will add monies from the e-levy to the IMF support to turn the economy around.

It may be recalled that government as part of campaign to encourage Ghanaians to accept the controversial levy said payment will prevent the nation from seeking an IMF bailout.

In view of this, some political pundits have asked the government to scrap the levy since it has decided to go to the Fund.

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa said: “You gave Ghanaians two options: E-Levy or IMF. Having opted for the IMF, any honest government will scrap the unconstitutional and repugnant E-Levy immediately”.

According to the Finance Ministry’s statement, “the IMF lending to Ghana will be for balance of payments support (i.e. to shore up the international reserves).

“Government is committed to ensuring the smooth operationalisation of all taxes including the e-levy to ensure that in addition to the IMF’s resources, government can continue to support its developmental goals on its own while ensuring that tax-to-GPD ratio increases to the peer range of 16%-18%.

An IMF-supported programme is likely to encourage the government to investigate the factors hindering the success of the e-levy (including by providing technical assistance if needed) and come out with strategies to improve it. Additionally, other tax measures could be considered for the medium-term” the statement added.

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