Professor Lord Mensah, an Associate Professor at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), has observed that it is too early for anyone to rate the performance of the Electronic Transactions Levy (e-levy).
“The government should wait till the end of the year in order to decide on the performance of the levy, probably it might be too early because normally when you issue a levy of that form, you are going to get reactions from the market so we may have to give ourselves some time before we can decide we want to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or not,” he intimated.
It follows a tweet by Gabby Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), “the e-levy has generated less than GH¢60 million out of the expected ¢600million and it has failed to live up to the expectations of the government.
He said any move by the government to go to the IMF for a programme would be a matter of principle because he was against an IMF programme in principle which assist with stipends but imposes conditions that would end up hurting the poor, jobs and businesses.
Mr Otchere-Darko indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine were not Africa’s creation but a programme that pretends it was Africa’s creation was bound to fail.
According to Prof. Mensah, it was too early for not making up to the expected revenue by the levy and stressed on the need to wait since there was more time adding that “if we think e-levy is the ultimate, let us hold on and ensure by the end of the year we can come out to say whether it is performing or not.
“I do not disagree with suggestions the government should seek economic support and assistance from the IMF however, the government must allow itself some more time before deciding to seek support and assistance from the IMF particularly when the levy has been implemented,” he said.
Prof. Mensah maintained that going to the IMF was not bad and would always jump for IMF but since the government’s position was the e-levy to keep the nation moving coupled with self-financial discipline, there was need to stick to it till the end of the year to realise what happens.