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‘E-levy will hamper financial inclusion’ – Analyst

Vice President, Sales and Distribution at InvestCorp Premier Investment Banking, Harrison Ahorgba fears the imposition of 1.75% of taxes (e-levy) on electronic transactions in Ghana will suppress the growth of financial inclusion.

His concerns come at a time the government is rolling the policy to help increase revenue to fund SMEs to create jobs for the youth and the road construction sector.

Presenting the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament Wednesday, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta indicated that the country had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and urged Ghanaians to support the Akufo-Addo government’s policies for rejuvenation of the African country’s economy.

Some experts believe widening the country’s tax net in that direction to get millions of mobile phone users to contribute to nation-building is a game-changer.

However, speaking on Ideas Exchange on TV XYZ Wednesday night, Ahorgba, an industry player, bemoaned the approach and rather wished the government move tactfully to encourage financial inclusion.

“So now with these taxes coming, my fear is that the drive for financial inclusion might be hampered,” Arhogba told host Eric Ahianyo. “Typical of you, if you are going to send a 1000 cedis, now what it means per what we are told is that you are going to pay a taxes of 17ghcedis for instance so on the other end if you add the two you are looking at 27 Cedis.”

Some Ghanaians transacting business with Momo.

“If it is not a good incentive for you, you won’t do it. What will be the implication?… I won’t take my money to the mobile money agent,” he explained.

The investment banker went on to state that “once I don’t take my money to the agent, he wouldn’t have work to do [and] so you [the government] are rather creating more hardship for him instead of creating an avenue for him to contribute his quota.”

He observed Mobile Money transaction is “very convenient, is easy to use, and then to a very large extend, very safe for people to transact business with” hence people will move away from Momo when the taxes become higher.

“Villages are benefiting from it so if you are not careful in its implementation, we would rather put people out of business instead of creating jobs,” he added.

 

By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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