Scrap e-levy after going to IMF – ACEP boss tells gov’t

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The e-levy must be abolished, Executive Director of the Africa Centre for Energy Policy, Mr Benjamin Boakye, has said.

Speaking on the New Day show with Berla Mundi on TV3 Monday July 4, he said that it was obvious from the get go that the e-levy was not going to work.

Asked whether the e-levy should be cancelled following the decision by the government to head to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mr Boakye answered “The e-levy, we told government it wasn’t going to work from the start and they didn’t listen. It is part of the reasons why we woke up one day and we realized that we are getting 10 per cent.

“If you are trying to tax the poor they have more energy to resist, it is a pure economic fact. You rather want to help the poor to grow to become big and contribute tax. If you check our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 71 per cent come from the formal sector. So what that tells you is that the leakages are at the formal sector, so trying to spend more money to target the 30 per cent of the poor bracket, you are not going to get revenue from there. It is clear from the data which government refused t look at.”

“I think it has to go,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Professor Peter Quartey, has asked the government to consider reviewing the e-levy rate downwards as a way of making it easier for more people to pay.

He said this when asked whether the government should continue charging the e-levy after deciding to go to the Fund for support, while speaking in an interview with TV3’s Alfred Ocansey on Friday July 1.

He called on Members of Parliament from both sides to sit and agree on how best to review the rate downwards after indicating that the government still needs the revenue.

“The IMF work together with governments. Initially, the policies and everything were just handed over from Washington to the respective countries, this has changed now. You have to develop your own policies and engage with the IMF and they will tell you which ones to take out, which ones to add and then you come to a consensus, based on that they will say, we will fund your programme.

“That is done through balance of payment support. It may take time, in the case of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka announced they were going to the IMF and today, they haven’t finished the process,” he said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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