The Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Kwaku Kwarteng, says should the government assess that the e-levy is not a helpful policy, it will be withdrawn.
His comment comes on the back of a tweet by a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darko, which said the e-levy is not living up to government expectations.
He disclosed that the Electronic Transactions Levy (e-levy) has generated less than ¢60 million, close to two months of its implementation, and hinted at government possibly seeking support from the IMF.
“What options are open to the government? The question should rather be: what option, if adopted, will re-inject investor confidence in our economy? Even if we find the $3-5 billion required, will that help? E-levy which was to have given us some 600m by now has done less than 60m,” he said.
Reacting to the comment, Kwaku Kwarteng stated that it is early days yet to make a determination as to whether a major policy like the e-levy has failed or not.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he explained that the system needed to support the full rollout of the e-levy was not ready yet, and called on Ghanaians to exercise patience.
“In fact, there is a sense in which the implementation has not fully even began and I say that because the e-levy is supposed to be collected on an electronic platform so that if you’re paying a 100 cedis by your momo, if you try to pay the next 100 through your bank account, the system would know that you have already exhausted your threshold. That platform has not come into effect yet.
“Because it hasn’t come into effect, real time monitoring is not possible. So even the figures we are seeing, I’m not sure we have collected from all the collecting agencies. What GRA is trying to do whilst they now seek to complete the building of the platform is to let the collecting agencies to declare. When they declare, I doubt if the GRA has even had the opportunity to audit. Then they will now take steps to audit. All that hasn’t happened,” he said.
He thus stated that the conversation about the failure of the e-levy is premature and should be shunned by the media.
“So even these figures that are being thrown out I don’t know if they’re right. Let us have patience, the e-levy is a policy that went through a lot before we could pass it, let us take our time. If eventually it turns out not to be a helpful policy, government itself will withdraw.
“But now, I think it’s early days yet and please let the media not start this discussion about a big policy like this that you would say has probably failed because somehow we expected that you start the policy and immediately the money will be coming in. We’re not going to get that,” he said.