Policy think tank, Danquah Institute (DI) has urged the government to pull the breaks on the implementation of the proposed Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy), which is expected to take effect in January, 2022.
Addressing the press on Thursday, the Institute said even though the rationale for the E-levy is laudable, there’s the need for government to deepen stakeholder conversations to generate wider public acceptance of the policy.
“We recommend that the government hold broad-based consultations with the myraid of stakeholders to make the levy acceptable to the populace,” Director of the Institute, Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko advised.
According to Dr. Tsiboe-Darko, when similar policies were piloted in other African countries, the outcomes were rather devastating; leading to a decline in the patronage of mobile money transactions.
Citing Tanzania as a case study, Dr. Tsiboe-Darko said the policy led to a massive decline in revenue generation, a situation that adversely impacted the economy. She also intimated that per her research, the policy dealt a big blow to Kenya when they also attempted it.
Based on her findings and the current public outcry, Dr. Tsiboe-Darko wants the government to suspend the 1.75% E-levy, until extensive consultations with relevant stakeholders have been done.
During the presentation of the 2022 Budget on November 17, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that government desires to impose a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions, starting from 2022.
According to him, this will help in swelling the government’s resource envelope to support road infrastructure and other developmental initiatives.
However, the proposition from the government has been met with angst and stiff opposition from a section of the populace, who believe that the levy is ‘draconian’ and ‘insensitive’.
The Minority in Parliament have also berated the levy, and threatened to vote against it accordingly.