Even though the e-levy is a horrible tax, it is imperative it is passed as soon as possible to prevent the collapse of the Ghanaian economy, the Dean of the University Of Ghana School Of Law, Prof Raymond Atuguba, has told MPs.
At a forum organised by Solidare Ghana, Prof Atuguba said: “The first step is to pass the e-levy immediately and implement it effectively”, adding: “To prevent the collapse of the economy and a return to the stronghold of the IMF, we have no choice but to pass it.”
“As horrible and wicked as it is, it is the only way to save our economy from collapse in the short term”, Prof Atuguba noted.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some civil society organisations have strongly been against the levy, which was proposed by the 2022 budget to raise, at least, GHS6.9 billion per year.
In Prof Atuguba’s view, however, “The starting point for passing the e-levy is for government to stop lying to the citizenry, come clean and confess that they thought the job of managing the economy was simple but now they know better; plead with the people of Ghana that ‘we have limited options now’.”
In his view, “Ghanaians will support it if this is done right.”
He warned, “If we do not support the e-levy, the government will simply tax something else such as fuel, leading to a hike in ‘trotro’ fares”.
“Depending on the rate and patronage, we’ll rake in billions of revenue every year. We can no longer borrow on the international financial market except at horrendous rates”, Prof Atuguba observed.
“We should, however, ask for one thing: absolute transparency every step of the way in the way and manner this e-levy is used.”