Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta has further justified the need for the country to rally behind the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta believes that the E-levy is the best and the surest means to widen the country’s tax net in order to mobilize enough revenue to tackle the numerous problems such as the rising public debt stock, unemployment, infrastructural deficit among others facing the country.
The Finance Minister who was addressing the media on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 highlighted that the E-levy is one of the most efficient revenue avenues the country can hinge the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda since it provides an opportunity for everyone to contribute its quota to the development of the nation.
He stated that the E-levy has the potential to capture about 17.1 million active mobile money subscribers into the country’s tax net.
“The question is: what is the most efficient way to bring all Ghanaians into the tax net to build a Ghana Beyond Aid that we and our children and grandchildren will be proud. The most efficient way must take into consideration technology and the structural changes in the tax handles, the fact that we have over 40.5 million mobile phone subscribers and over 17.1 million active mobile money subscribers,” Ken Ofori-Atta justified.
He further explained that “it is instructive to note that the total value of transactions on mobile money grew by a CAGR of 65% between 2016 and 2021; rising from GHS 78.5 billion in 2016 to an estimated GHS953.2 billion in 2021.”
According to him, the country with the help of the E-levy can increase its tax-to-GDP ratio from the current 11.13% which is below the average of its peers to 16%.
“Ladies and gentlemen the E-levy is a necessary tool to increase our tax to GDP from circa 11.13 % to 16% and above to guarantee that we pay for what we use,” he said.
Mr. Ofori-Atta said the levy would ensure that the country moves towards a more sustainable level, adding that it would also “ensure that we have revenue to sustainably invest in entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure.”