The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has called on Ghanaians to support government close the revenue gap in its annual budget through the implementation of the novel tax regime, Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy).
The Minister made this call yesterday during a government Town Hall Meeting on the proposed E-Levy held at Wa, in the Upper West Region.
According to the Minister, the time has come for Ghanaians to “burden share” to enable the state have adequate revenue to embark on developmental projects we so much desire.
He explained that the onus lies on every Ghanaian to collaborate in efforts and work in unison to propel the country’s development since the demands of citizens are increasing.
“Part of my message this afternoon is for us to join hands, stay with whichever party we want, but let’s have a common language and threshold of where we want to go. Because we are the ones who have to mobilise our own resources to fund the development that we want. Nobody will do it for us, so it is important we join hands to fund our own needs as a people,” he said.
The one-day forum, which is the fourth community outreach programme by government, was organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Information to explain the importance of the levy as a source of revenue for national development.
Recounting the robustness of the Ghanaian economy prior to the advent of Covid-19, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said “the deadly virus has eroded the gains we made as a country”.
He said even though the pandemic had caused lots of harm and economic hardships, all is not lost as government is proactively putting measures in place to bring the economy back on track.
He added that “what is left is for Ghanaians to support government in bringing the economy back to life through the levy”.
Present at the Town Hall Meeting were the Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery; Upper West Regional Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin Salih; Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Issahaku Hamidu Chinia; leaders of religious bodies, teachers, civil servants, members of the security agencies, traditional leaders and host of business persons.
In his contributions, Mr Ambrose Dery bemoaned Ghana’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio and how it falls short, relative to other country’s ratio in the sub-region.
To this end, he said government needs to roll out efficient revenue mobilisation measures such as the E-Levy to cater for the growing needs of the people.
Dr. Bin Salih, for his part, emphasised that the E-Levy would offer the country enough revenue to sustain and keep the government’s flagship programmes such as the YouStart, GhanaCares Obaatanpa and other youth-oriented programmes that are being rolled out. He added the levy will put government in a better position to provide for the needs of Ghanaians.
Mr. Hamidu Chinia also underscored the need to look inward to mobilise revenue to finance the country’s development. He said the E-Levy will rake in the much-needed revenue which the government could use to accelerate the development of the country for the benefit of the citizenry.