Minister of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has said that it’s imperative that the 1.75% e-levy introduced by the Government of Ghana in its 2022 budget is accepted and implemented in order to help government raise revenue.
According to him, there will be no money to subsidize fertilizers if the much-debated e-levy from the 2022 budget is adopted by Parliament and passed into law.
He says the prices of fertilizer are high due to global shortage but the government intends to continue subsidizing fertilizers but without adopting the e-levy, the government will struggle.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto made this known when he met farmers in the Upper East Region of Ghana as part of the tour of parts of the country.
“Now with the increase of prices on the global market, we have to look at the fertilizer situation again. There are two markets in Ghana, the subsidized fertilizer market which is the planting for food and jobs which is meant for smallholder farmers and we have the commercial for the open market for people who can buy to go and buy. These two markets have existed side by side. But because the subsidized market was so big, there was little left for the open market.
Now with the price increases on the world market, we are also facing revenue collection in Ghana and everywhere else because International Trade has also shrunk. We get most of our revenues from International Trade, Import and export. That is why it has become necessary for this government to look for alternative sources of revenue to close the gap hence the electronic levy.
The opposition is making the electronic levy a big issue. What they don’t realize is that it’s affecting other areas. So if we are to remove the levy, where are we going to find the money to give subsidies to the farmers? There will be nothing. Now prices have gone up three times,” he told farmers in the Upper East region.
Meanwhile, the opposition in Parliament has served notice that it won’t accept the E-Levy introduced by the Government of Ghana because it will bring untold hardship to the people in the country.
They have asked that the Government scraps it from the 2022 budget.