The Ghana Mobile Money Association has petitioned Parliament’s Minority Caucus to guarantee that the new Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) is rejected when it comes up for a vote.
The company’s examination of the E-levy following its introduction in the 2022 budget suggests that implementing it will be difficult not only for Ghanaians and agents but also have certain economic consequences, according to the group.
The Association’s General Secretary, Evans Otumfour, presented the petition to the Minority, claiming that acceptance of the fee would jeopardize the country’s cashless system, result in job losses, and jeopardize the government’s digitization effort, among other things.
“Yes mobile money has become the major driver of both formal and informal sector, everybody is now leveraging on whatever economic activity to transact using the mobile money platform. So after our assessment, we have realized that there are about 12 challenges should the government continue to pursue the e-levy in its current state or form,” he said.
Mr. Otumfour stated that given the challenges they have highlighted in the petition, the E-levy bill in its current form “should be scrapped”.
He added that “we are agents and we play major roles within the industry so when we realize that our profit margins are going to be affected, our lives are also under threat then we will be left with no alternative than to consider pulling back our investment.”
The Minority has mounted a robust defense against the 1.75 percent charge being included in the 2022 budget, alleging that it will only aggravate the citizens’ economic burden.
However, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta claims that the charge will raise the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio from 13 percent to a target of 16 percent or higher.
The budget’s other components have been accepted, except the E-Levy, which the Minority has promised to oppose tooth and nail.
Meanwhile, the Mobile Money Association claims that it will be in the government’s best interests to thoroughly examine the charge and its implications before passing and implementing it.
Mr. Otumfour said that “a more thorough stakeholder consultation must take place so that at the end of the day there should be a better module that would not serve as a danger for the industry.”
He added that “we are of the view that if the government should consider the following proposals it will be in the best interest of the country and keep us on the journey.”
Muntaka Mubarak, the Minority Chief Whip, noted that the government plans to meet with the Caucus regarding the levy, and told the group that he will transmit their concerns to the government.