‘E-levy implementation hasn’t started’ – Telecoms Chamber allays fears

The Ghana Telecommunications Chamber has debunked claims by Bawku Central MP, Mahama Ayariga, that the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Chamber have begun processes for the implementation of the 1.5% Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy).

Mahama Ayariga in a media interview, alleged that the two institutions have already started the processes to charge the tax, and urged them to put it on hold until the Supreme Court makes a decision on the Minority’s suit challenging the passage of the levy.

But reacting to the comments, Chief Executive Officer of the Telecommunications Chamber, Ken Ashigbey, indicated that his outfit has not yet had the full details of the bill after its passage to effect any implementation.

“It was only preparatory engagements that were being done and not as if anybody is implementing anything. What Parliament passes is what becomes law. In terms of the engagements we had with GRA, that was the spirit of the fact that the Bill was before Parliament. Since we had those initial conversations, there hasn’t been any implementation.”

“I have not seen the bill that has been passed, so we have not seen the date in there, so it will depend on what the GRA directs for our members to follow and configure their systems. So, there is still a lot to be done, and we are still waiting”, he said.

The government expects systems that will pave the way for the implementation of the electronic transfer levy to be ready by May 2022.

According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, there have been discussions with the Controller and Accountant General’s Department and the Ghana Revenue Authority in this regard.

“We had some meetings with the Controller General and GRA, and they have indicated to us that right at the beginning of May, they should be able to get the systems altogether,” he noted.

The levy is a 1.5 percent tax on electronic transactions, which includes mobile money payments.

The charge will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.

The government had hoped the levy to widen the tax net and raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022 when it was first announced in the budget.

But it took until the end of March for the levy to be laid in Parliament for consideration.

Parliament passed it in the absence of the Minority MPs, who had walked out before the Bill was seriously considered.

The Minority had complained that it had been blindsided by the unexpected laying of the controversial tax.

It has subsequently moved to challenge the passage of the levy at the Supreme Court.

The Minority MPs on the suit are the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, Mahama Ayariga of Bawku Central, and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa of North Tongu.

They are arguing that Parliament did not have the right numbers to form a quorum for the passage of the E-levy Bill into law.

They thus want the passage declared void.

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