Mobile money transactions won't be taxed – Govt

Government says claim by the Minority National Democratic Congress in Parliament that mobile money transactions would be taxed is false. A Deputy Information Minister, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah told Media General’s Bright Asempa of Onua 95.1FM on Wednesday that government has no intention to tax that sector now, at least not in the 2018 budget. At round table discussion on the 2018 budget, the Minority criticised the government for planning to impose tax on the thriving mobile money business, describing it as “retrogressive”. “The intention to tax mobile money transaction must be abolished immediately, since it constitutes a serious threat to financial inclusion and economic growth in Ghana,” Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority spokesperson on finance said on Monday. But Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah revealed that the yet-to-be read 2018 budget statement and economy policy of government did not capture that claim. He said the Minority’s position was just a “distortion” of the 2018 budget and wondered where they got that information from. Since the 2018 budget would have nothing to do with their claims, he said, it is predictable that the Minority will change position and say it was removed from the budget because of their disclosure. According to Oppong-Nkrumah, who is the Member of Parliament for Ofoase-Ayirebi, the preparation for the budget started about two months ago and finalised way back before the Minority made the mobile money claim. In a related development, the Deputy Information Minister said government managed to clear a number of debts it inherited from the previous administration and stabilise the economy in 2017. He cited the reduction of inflation from about 15 it inherited in January 2017 to 11.6 percent as at October, interest rate brought down to around 28 from over 30,  import cover improved from 2 to 4 months. All these were achieved as a result of prudent financial management of the government, he claimed. Government, Oppong-Nkrumah said, would be looking at sustaining the micro economic gains it made this year in 2018. The 2018 budget would also be looking at measures government can put in place to create the enabling environment for businesses to grow and create employment. He said his government is also keen on ensuring that the national purse is safeguarded against officials who misuse public funds. When that is done and the government is able to achieve its revenue target, it would then translate into development, he stated.

READ ALSO:  I'd be disappointed if Kumawood produces movie on Maj. Mahama - McBrown
By Isaac Essel |]]>