Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has warned of dire economic consequences for the country if the Electronic Transaction Levy aka E-Levy bill fails to pass.
Speaking in Koforidua at a government town hall meeting to convince the public to support the tax policy, he stressed that economic gains made by government in recent years will stall if Ghanaians do not support the initiative.
The Minority in Parliament have insisted they will not support the measure but the Finance Minister says the recent Fitch downgrade of Ghana is a foreshadow of what is to come if the bill is not passed.
“If we don’t do this E-levy, we are just pushing ourselves in a way that would potentially end up in such a disaster. There was a warning of that because last week was a very difficult week for the country.”
“Last week we got downgraded by Fitch because they do not believe we could raise the revenues that we had forecasted because we were fighting about E-levy…so we need to moderate that because the consequences are quick,” he said.
According to him, the country needs the levy to increase her economic fortunes; hence, Ghanaians should be passionate about the policy as “it will give us about ¢6.9 billion.”
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the 73rd University of Ghana Annual New Year School and Conference on Wednesday, the Minister reiterated that the time had come for the citizenry to “burden share” in the development of the country with the government by paying that tax.
He then asked the citizenry to ‘convince’ their members of Parliament to pass the bill and hold him accountable for all the revenues and expenses.
“What I was really expecting was for Parliament to say, we’re going to get $6.9 billion from this new tax revenue measure. So how then do you [Finance Minister] report to me [Parliament] on a quarterly basis on the uses of the fund and its application so that we move on,” he said.
Meanwhile, a convener of FixTheCountry, Oliver Barker-Vormawor, has said members of the group were turned away from the town hall meeting and assaulted.
He added in an interview with JoyNews that they have lodged a report with the police for further investigations and appropriate sanctions.