The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, has revealed that the government intends securitize the proceeds of the Electronic Levy (E-Levy) when passed, to ensure greater revenue through Bonds, to build the necessary road infrastructure in the country.
Mr. Amoako-Atta said this when answering questions on the floor of parliament on Friday March 4, 2022.
The revelation of the minister has been a long held perception of critics of the Electronic Levy Bill that government will collateralize the proceed in bonds to raise capital for government programs. The Minister explained that the government is looking forward to the passage of the E-levy to raise adequate revenue for the road sector.
“The government in its wisdom has proposed the passage of the E-levy to bring in more revenue to build the road infrastructure for all of us.” he noted.
He further explained that the government would securitized the E-Levy through bond to raise greater revenue to build more roads and other infrastructure in the coming years.
“So government is looking forward to the passage of the E-levy that would bring in greater revenue that would be securitized to raise a bond to build the road sector infrastructure” he said.
The Minister, who is the sitting Member of Parliament for Atiwa West constituency, also revealed that government has built in the E-Levy the suspended road tolls and that government is determined to ensure the passage of the E-Levy for total development of the country.
“So government direction and government policy is to bring in a better form of correction because the toll revenue is built in the proposed E-levy, that is why government is determined to ensure that it is brought to being,” he added.
BACKGROUND TO THE ELECTRONIC LEVY.
The proposed Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) of 1.75% was introduced in the 2022 Budget Statement to widen the tax net and rope in potential taxpayers in the informal sector. The introduction of the e-levy by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been greeted with disapproval from majority of the populace and experts as well.
The yet-to-be approved levy was introduced on the back of great strides made by Mobile Money in the digital financial space of the country.
Access to digital financial services has increased in Ghana and bridged the financial inclusion gap. Ghana has become one of the fastest-growing mobile money markets in Africa.
According to the Bank of Ghana, by November 2021, Ghana had 47.3 million registered users, 18.4 active users and over GHs 80 billion (US$13 billion) value of mobile money transactions performed.
In Sub-Saharan Africa, some governments have attempted to impose e-levy rates on digital transactions with some failing and others succeeding.
One of the main concerns for the introduction of the e-levy is the type of transactions that will be taxed.
By Derrick Botsyoe