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E-Levy will escalate hardship – Importers and Exporters Association

The Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana (IEAG) is upset about the passage of the electronic levy (E-Levy) stressing that the timing was not the best.

Times are hard as the price of goods and services kept increasing in the country, and the ordinary Ghanaian complained of difficulty in making a living.

Mr. Samson Awingobi Asaki, IEAG Executive Secretary said this in reaction to the passing of the bill on Tuesday by the majority side after members of the minority side had staged a walkout.

He said the passage would even make it very difficult to send some money to friends and relatives using mobile money to alleviate the hardship they go through, as according to him, sending such monies would now have additional charges which would be a deterrent to the sender.

Mr. Asaki expressed worry that the e-cash system that the Bank of Ghana was about to introduce would die a natural death following the e-levy passage as many would shy away from it to avoid payment of the tax.

He further observed that the various mobile banking applications being used by the commercial banks to facilitate easy and quick banking for their clients would also be affected.

He urged members of the public especially importers and exporters to resort to the use of cheques and cash for the payments of goods instead of the use of electronic payments, adding that he had been reliably informed that paying taxes with mobile money would not be affected by the passage of the bill.

The e-levy bill was passed after being considered under a certificate of urgency which allowed for it to go through the second and third reading.

The bill attracted a lot of controversy and agitations from the general public when it was first laid before parliament as part of 2022 budget which required that e-transactions would attract a levy of 1.75 per cent.

The amount to be deducted was subsequently reduced to 1.50 per cent while the government held a number of town hall meetings to educate the public on the importance of passing the e-levy bill.

 

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