Ghanaians have been urged to support the Electronic Levy (E-Levy) to enable government to raise more revenue to enhance national development.
Speaking on an Accra-based radio station, Kessben FM, in Accra last Tuesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Sector Reforms, Mr Thomas Kusi-Boafo, said the E-Levy was a better option than the government going for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme.
He said the conditionalities attached to an IMF bailout were harsher than the E-Levy.
Mr Kusi-Boafo mentioned some of the conditionalities as freeze on employment, job losses, increasein taxes and cut in expenditure.
He said that the dwindling government revenue due to COVID-19, liquidity challenges, high fiscal deficit as well as growing public debt had created the need for the E-Levy to shore up government revenue.
“Either E-Levy comes on or we abandon the developmental programmes such as the 1 District 1 Factory, Livelihoods Empowerment against Poverty, the School Feeding Programme we are undertaking,” he said.
Mr Kusi-Boafo hinted that the E-Levy was one of the options to enhance revenue and prop up the economy.
The CEO called on the citizenry to disregard rumors that the
E-Levy was a ploy by r government to extort money from the “innocent Ghanaian.”
MrKusi-Boafo warned that the rejection of the E-Levy by Parliament would have serious economic ramifications on the country.
He hinted that the government was considering a law to tax the sale of lands by chiefs, saying that “a legislation will soon be passed allowing chiefs to pay about 30 per cent tax to government.”
The CEO advised Ghanaians to state their view on the E-levy without insults.
The E-Levy is a new tax measure introduced by the government in the 2022 budget on basic transaction related to digital payments and electronic platforms.
It was 1.75 per cent and was reduced to 1.5 per cent after further consultation.
The E-Levy is yet to be approved by Parliament as previous attempt to pass it last year failed.
Suspension of Price Stabilisation Levy on fuel costs Government GHC174m – NPA
The three-month suspension of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) costs the Government about GHC 170 million, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has said.
Mr Mohammed Abdul-Kudus, Communications Manager, NPA, told the Ghana News Agency that the suspension of the levy cost the government about GHC 58m in revenue monthly.
He said the reintroduction of the levy this month after the three-month suspension had become necessary because funds generated from the levy were used to subsidise premix fuel and industrial fuel in accordance with the objectives of the Energy Sector Levies Act, 2015 (Act 899).
“What it means is that for a period of three months that it was suspended, the Government was still finding money elsewhere to be subsiding premix and industrial fuel,” Mr Abdul-Kudus stated.
As part of measures to lessen the burden on consumers, the government suspended the PSRL charge on petrol, diesel, and LPG from November 2021, to the end of January 2022.
The PSRL imposes a 16-pesewas-per litre levy on petrol, Ghp14 pesewas per litre on diesel, andGHp14 per kilogram on LPG.
Mr Abdul-Kudus said though fuel prices had gone up over the period, the levy could not be suspended in perpetuity since it was established by an Act of Parliament.
He said due to the deregulation pricing mechanism, the hike in petroleum products on the international market was to blame for the continuous increment in fuel prices at the local pumps.
“International crude prices are going up and because of the deregulation, anytime there is a change on the international market, we will have a change at the pump, and crude prices have been going up significantly,” Mr Abdul-Kudus said.
Prices of petrol and diesel went up marginally by some 10 pesewas per litre on Tuesday, February 01, 2022.
Some oil marketing companies are selling petrol and diesel for GHC 7.090 and GHC 7.130 per litre respectively.
The Institute for Energy Security (IES) had projected that prices of petrol, diesel and LPG would go up by at least 25 pesewas per litre in the first two weeks of February 2022.
In its projections for the February 2022 First Pricing Window, the IES attributed the expected increment to a hike in Brent Crude prices and LPG among other commodities on the international market.
“The pending increases come on the back of an 8.52 per cent increase in the price of Brent crude, a 5.5 per cent rise in LPG price, a 6.23 per cent increase in price of Gasoline, and 9.86 per cent jump in Gasoil price; all on the international oil and fuel markets,” it said. -GNA