We’re committed to 20% expenditure cut – Gov’t on E-Levy debate

Ken Ofori-Atta
Ken Ofori-Atta

The government as part of a prudent fiscal consolidation move says it is committed to cutting down expenditure across board by 20%.

The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta who said this during a government townhall meeting in Tamale on Thursday (10 February), said the government’s decision to rationalise expenditure by some 20% is to decisively strengthen fiscal consolidation of the 2022 budget to address critical concerns of the economy, create jobs for the youth, obtain a positive primary balance and stabilise debt.

He said the decision is in accordance with the Public Management Act (PFMA) and will help strengthen expenditure management, bring the deficit back within limit, make development sustainable and channel expenditure to critical sectors of the economy to increase growth and create jobs.

“We are committed like we have stated earlier to cutting down public expenditure by 20%. This means that our fiscal consolidation agenda going forward is not going to be only revenue-led but also expenditure focused. And through the E-Levy, the government can rake in more revenue to invest in important sectors of the Ghanaian economy to the benefit of all,” Ofori-Atta said. 

The government has been on the road holding a series of townhall meetings to sensitise Ghanaians on the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy), the subject of which has raised serious controversies particularly among market women and other businesspersons who rely heavily on mobile money as a means of transacting business.

However, allaying the fears of Ghanaians, the Information minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said the levy provides Ghanaians with an opportunity to contribute to Ghana’s economic and infrastructural development. He said the E-Levy will put government in a better position to provide for the needs of Ghanaians.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

Also present at the townhall meeting was the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mavis Hawa Koomson, Deputy Minister for Transport, Alhassan Tampuli Sulemana and Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu.

Koomson on her part took time to demystify misconceptions on the levy. She said government contrary to claims being peddled by opposition factions will plough back the proceeds that accrue from the levy into sectors of the economy that will benefit the generality of Ghanaians.

Further, Tampuli emphasised the need for Ghana to be self-reliant and look internally to mobilise revenue rather than go cup in hand to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He said going to the Bretton Woods institution comes with a lot of conditionalities that will restrict government from providing for the basic needs of Ghanaians.

The regional minister, Alhaji Shani encouraged citizens to embrace the levy as the government explores other mechanisms of burden-sharing and to raise additional revenue for the betterment of all citizens.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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