I Welcome The MoMo Tax But . . . - Charles Owusu

Former Head of Monitoring at the Forestry Commission, Charles Owusu, has urged the government's communication directorate to properly educate Ghanaians on the 2022 budget statement read by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, particularly with regard to the imposition of an e-levy.

The Finance Minister, reading the budget before Parliament on Wednesday, November 17 disclosed that as part of measures to expand the tax net, every Ghanaian who engages in electronic transactions will be taxed.

All citizens are expected to pay a 1.75 percent tax on mobile money, bank and all other electronic transfers.

"After considerable deliberations, Government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the 'Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy.' Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipien," he explained.

"Mr. Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day (which is approximately GH¢3000 per month) will be exempt from this levy. A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others. 3y3 Baako, Ye nyinaa bey tua. Mr. Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect (once appropriation is passed) from 1st January, 2022. Government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy," Ken Ofori-Atta told Parliament.

The Minister also revealed that the government has removed road tolls explaining the rationale behind this decision that “over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.

“To address these challenges, the Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than offset the revenue forgone by removing the tolls.” 

Discussing the budget on Friday edition of 'Kokrokoo' on Peace FM, Charles Owusu welcomed the government's decision to scrap the road tolls and its introduction of the e-levy to generate revenues for infrastructure development.

He proposed that the revenues should be used for the intended purpose to ease the economic pressures on Ghanaians.

Regarding the e-levy, he charged the government to clarify issues to the populace so they understand the modalities of the e-levy and hoped it won't further burden them.