GOVERNMENT TOWN HALL MEETING ON E-LEVY ON 2ND FEBRUARY 2022 AT THE SEKONDI YOUTH CENTRE, SEKONDI- WESTERN REGION.

GOVERNMENT TOWN HALL MEETING ON E-LEVY ON 2ND FEBRUARY 2022 AT THE SEKONDI YOUTH CENTRE, SEKONDI- WESTERN REGION.

The event started at 2:20pm with an opening Christian prayer, followed by the Akan version of the national anthem.

Welcome Address:

MP of the area, Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer while delivering the welcome address reiterated the importance of the meeting. He emphasized that the townhall meeting has particularly been necessitated by the misinformation and fact twisting that has been championed majorly by the minority. He added that in line with what is culture, the finance minister has visited to explain the policies of the government. He explained that he as MP knows the developmental needs of the people of sekondi and that of the western region as a whole, making specific mention of the deteriorated Sekondi market. He added that government is only able to meet these needs in 2 ways, taxes or borrowing. He underscored the unique difficulties that Ghana like many other countries have encountered due to the covid-19 pandemic that did not spare Ghana. It has therefore become necessary for the government to make initiatives to get the economy back to track. He rebutted the suggestions that the government sought the assistance of the IMF, saying that the prescriptions of the IMF are not unknown already to the government, which he says includes maximizing revenue and cutting wastage among others. He added that any monies that the IMF gives the state are loans that would add up the country’s debt. He, therefore, urged all to listen to the minister of finance open-mindedly to understand the policy and contribute our quota for national development.

Western Regional Minister

He expressed excitement for the presence of the Minister of Finance. He recalled when the president mentioned that he aimed to move Ghana beyond aid. He mentioned that Omanhene of Esikado, Nana Kobina Nketsia mentioned to him that that pronouncement by the president was major psychological warfare. He added that the e-levy is aimed at Road construction, creating employment for the youth, and increasing connectivity in the country among others.  He sighted that upon assumption of office, the president has rolled out the free SHS which is funded by oil revenue. He says that attests to the fact that this government ‘says and does.’

He explained that people have asked questions about how the already collected monies are used and that those monies are often stolen. To these, he said that as the population increases, it becomes necessary to collect monies to develop the country. Secondly, he added that people who embezzle state funds are dealt with through the appropriate means. He touted the various road constructions are already ongoing. He emphasized that Ghana is ready to move beyond aid, and asked the opposition to be responsible. He explained that the e-levy does not affect the poor in society. He added that it is important that the middle class in society take up the responsibility to contribute to the development of the country. He added that it is unfair for the middle class to shirk their tax responsibilities and then expect development.

Central Regional Minister- Marigold Assan

She emphasized that the country develops only when its citizens contribute. She mentioned that it was unfair to leave the responsibility of national development to the few in the formal sector. She called for unity of purpose. He commended the leadership of the president for being there for the Ghanaian employee, especially teachers who got their salaries paid even while schools were closed for about a year. She touted the achievements of the government, including the planting for foods and jobs where farmers got farm input at heavily subsidized fees, adding that the state is only able to fund these through taxes. Free SHS, Roads etc. She mentioned that citizens must take pride in contributing to national development.

Finance Minister:

Taxes are natural, as all people everywhere in the world pay taxes. What he says is more important is what the monies are spent on. He was happy for what the government has been able to achieve for the country, describing it as a miracle. It can’t be right that only 2.8m people contribute by way of taxes. He mentioned that there are 21m mobile money accounts. The world is changing, with e-commerce becoming the order of the day. Ghana’s economy is growing and comes along with myriads of developmental demands, which must be championed by money/resources. He touted Ghana’s leadership in the various areas of national life, mentioning the various headquarters in Ghana. He talked about the national cathedral potentially creating revenue for the country, as Ghana will be the New Jerusalem.

He underscored that Ghana has always been an entrepreneurial nation. He says the president wants the youth to return to being entrepreneurial, therefore the policies to support entrepreneurship.  In Akufo Addo, Ghana has a president who cares, as shown during the covid-19 period, coming through with free water, power, and some instances food. These were made possible by national resources. If the country will return back on track, new tax handles must be introduced. (40b education. 50b, security, etc).

Ghana is a country with a manifest destiny for greatness. That will be possible with the introduction of the e-levy. About it being high, extensive consultation has been made, resulting in the telcos removing 0.25 from their charges. We live in a porous region and so the country has had to spend substantially on security. He spoke about the various infrastructural development in the western region. He, therefore, appealed to citizens, as he believes will bring about the financial liberation needed.

Ghana finds revenue through taxes and the raising of bonds.

The finance ministry is going to try hard to restrain leakages. The issue of protecting the public purse will become paramount. He added that the payment of the e-levy provides all with the moral authority to seek accountability from the political elite. Averagely, every Ghanaian will be contributing Ghc 25 a year to support national development through the e-levy.

E-Levy Transfers covered

  1. Mobile money transfers between accounts on the same electronic money issuer (EMI)
  2. Mobile money transfers from an account on one EMI to a recipient on another EMI
  3. Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts
  4. Transfer from mobile money accounts to bank accounts 

The ministry will provide quarterly reports on how the monies collected from the e-levy for all to be clear.

(100ghc or less are exempt. Transfers between accounts owned by one person, paying for government services…making payments for services or goods provided by GRA recognized organizations. Merchant transfers to their bosses.)

Questions and Answers

Kirk Mensah, Sekondi- Made reference to the Minister’s 2022 budget statement, stating that the minister mentioned that all of Ghana’s revenue including the ones anticipated from the e-levy will leave a 12.5b deficit in meeting the budget for 2022.

Ekow Appiah explained that he’s now clear off all confusions he earlier had about the proposed e-levy.

Hashim- Is the e-levy aimed at purchasing the private jet for the luxurious lifestyle of the president?

A little chaos during the question time.

A Lady- Covid-19 has brought serious poverty to households. There are many loopholes in the system, why wouldn’t the government close those loopholes rather than introduce the e-levy. Again, exactly what will be the monies collected via e-levy be used for?

Oti Asirifi (TTU head of diability unit) – clarity of the items b and c on the list of items that e-levy will cover, ie transfer between accounts owned by the same person and payments of government services on Ghana.gov platform.

Adjei Assemblyman Wassa East- Reconsider charges and sends education to rural Ghana.

Info minister emphasized that money Ghc100 or less is exempt from charges. People are confused due to the over politicization of the policy.

Dr. Eric Bruce-Amartey Dean of Student TTU- Would government workers on payroll not be taxed multiple times?

Kofi Adjei- The government should reduce the rate for the e-levy

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