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e-Transaction Levy Services: Cabinet scraps GH¢241m allocation – Ablakwa alleges

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Government to implement 1.75 levy on electronic transactions

NDC opposes new E-levy

Government defends E-levy

The government of Ghana will no longer be allocating some GH¢241,933,000 in the 2022 budget for some services in the implementation of the controversial Electronic Transaction collection, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has alleged.

According to Mr Ablakwa, the decision to scrap the allocation made for service procurement was reached at a cabinet meeting.

“According to deep throat and unimpeachable sources, the scandalous allocation of GHS241,933,000 under the dodgy title of e-Transaction Levy Services in the 2022 Budget has been tabled for what was a heated discussion at a Cabinet Meeting President Akufo-Addo chaired a couple of days ago.

“My usually impeccable sources within Cabinet add that the offensive sweetheart deal is now off and that the sleazy allocation would no longer feature in the final Appropriation Act,” Mr Ablakwa wrote in a Facebook post.

The government of Ghana as part of its 2022 budget economic policies intends to impose a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions.

As part of the policy implementation plan, the government allotted GH¢241,933,000 to be spent on services.

But some critics including the North Tongu MP, have described the GHC241,933,000 allocated for service procurement as sleazy and fulfilling shadowy business interests.

While the government maintains that the E-levy policy is a revenue mobilization policy aimed at national development, Mr Ablakwa has said discoveries such as the amount set aside for services makes it a “grand heist by family and friends.”

In his Facebook post alleging the cabinet decision, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the scrapping of the budgetary allocation has saved the nation a humongous amount which can be channelled towards other avenues of national development.

He is however optimistic that E-levy policy will be scrapped in its entirety.

“Thanks to our exposé and relentless united advocacy, we have saved Ghana a humongous GH¢242million.

“This colossal amount should rather be used to engage thousands of young unemployed graduates who are still languishing at home after many years.

“As we thank God for this collective victory on a holy Sunday, let’s pray for more grace and fortitude to eventually defeat the obnoxious and acutely regressive E-Levy,” he stated.

Meanwhile, a deputy minister for finance, John Kumah, in a Facebook post has been explaining the need for the E-levy services allocation.

“On this issue of the allocated money earmarked at Appendix 4B on page 242 of the 2022 budget, the allocated amount will do a number of things including payment for the services of a third-party service provider who will help in the monitoring, tracking and validation of all the receipts that will come from the e-levy. The services of the third party is required if Ghana is to optimize receipts from this levy. Government learning from other experiences in other jurisdictions and our own internal processes leaves it with no room for revenue leakage and inefficient in the collection of the e-levy.

“The GRA will also be supported from this pool since they will be provided with logistics which will help in collection of this levy.”

According to the deputy minister, the government is intent on conducting the procurement in a transparent manner and thus parried the allegation of nepotism against the government.

“The process for selecting that service provider hasn’t started. It will go through the right procurement process and a value for money audit will be established before the service provider is selected.

“Key point to note here is that the Government has been transparent and has gone ahead to budget for the cost that will be associated with the administration and implementation of the levy in line with international best practices,” he added.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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