E-levy: ¢6.9bn targeted revenue is half the amount A-G says has been stolen – Mogtari

Joyce Bawah Mogtari, Special Aide to Former President John Dramani Mahama, has expressed concerns about the way and manner the Akufo-Addo administration is managing the economy.

In her view, the economy has been badly managed by the current administration hence, the government is trying to take respite in the E-levy proposal to generate revenue.

This, she said, saddens her because the targeted revenue to be generated from the E-levy which is ¢6.9billion, is half the amount of money that the Auditor-General says has been stolen.

“I watched the Townhall meeting on the E-levy in the Savannah Region and I was sad that the Finance Minister we were told was the best, is talking about ¢6.9bn, which is half of the money the Auditor-General said has been stolen,” she said on the New Day show on TV3 with Johnnie Hughes on Thursday February 17.

Meanwhile the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta said among other things, during the townhall meeting on Thursday February 10, that Ghana would not return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support in order to deal with the challenges that the local economy is going through at the moment.

He indicated that a return to the Bretton Woods institution will have dire consequences. He also indicated that Ghana had the capacity to raise domestic revenue for development.

The government had been called upon to return to the IMF for support instead of relying on the proposed E-levy for revenue.

For instance, a former Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah believed that a return would rescue Ghana’s struggling economy.

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“Without a doubt, I think we should be placing a call to Washington if we haven’t really done that. We are just not going to ask for the funds just because E-levy has been passed or not. E-levy will just bring about GH¢5 billion. We are in a deep hole of our tax revenue and facing difficulties, so going to the Fund will give us some support.

“So there is nothing wrong with going to the Fund.  Ghana is a member of the IMF so what is wrong going to ask for support when we are in difficulties to go and pool resources.  If I was the finance minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back,” he told Citi.

Mark Assibey Yeboah also added that the revenue expected to be accrued from the E-levy is to ensure the economic stability government is eyeing.

He further cast doubt on the government’s ability to raise the projected GH¢6.9 billion target, saying the maximum the government can raise from the controversial e-levy is GH¢5 billion.

“The GH¢6.9 billion target cannot be realized. There are a lot of exemptions so, in my estimation, the maximum amount we can get from the E-levy is GH¢5 billion, and that is less than a billion dollars, so I do not think that the E-levy is going to be a panacea to our revenues. Going to the IMF will ensure some stability and above all, we are going to get some $3 billion”.

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia also made similar call to the government.

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Asked whether President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should go to the IMF, while speaking on the New Day show on TV3 on Monday February 7, he answered “I think it is something that they have to consider. if it is the only that will take us out of this problem then the earlier the better.”

But Mr Ofori-Atta who had earlier stated that the government would not go back to the IMF insisted that “I can tell you, as my colleague deputy said, we are not going back to the IMF, whatever we do we are not [going back]. The consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources , we have that capacity, don’t let anybody tell you … we are not people of short-sighted, we need to move on,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana


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