The Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, says Ghana cannot afford to keep begging or borrowing money to fund its development.
For this reason, she says the country’s only option for raising additional revenue is to pass the 1.75% E-levy on financial transactions.
Speaking at the government’s town hall meeting on the controversial levy at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, she said the E-levy will give Ghana the much-needed resources to undertake its many developmental plans.
“If the funds are not generated internally, we either have to go and beg for aid or borrow and we cannot continue to borrow to finance our development. Ghana is seeking to meet its agenda of a Ghana beyond aid and this requires all of us to support the e-levy and contribute our quota to national development,” she said.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful warned that continuing to borrow money from donors could lead to Ghana not being independent or having the free hand to manage its affairs.
“So long as we are dependent on donors, they will dictate the pace of our development, so we need to rely less on donors to be truly independent,” she added.
The Ablekuma West MP further stated that she is confident that the e-levy will not erode the gains made in digital transactions as some have suggested.
She likened the public reaction to the E-levy to the Communication Services Tax (CST), arguing that despite the many criticisms and opposition to the CST, also known as ‘talk tax’, it was passed, and its results have been impressive.
She noted that although she was among those against the CST, she has now realized how helpful it has been and strongly believes that the E-levy will follow the same trajectory.
“I appeal to them [minority] to cooperate with government and work with us to pass this levy as well because ultimately, the result that we got from the Communication Services Tax, which clearly didn’t destroy the industry, will also be evident post-implementation of this levy as we all work collectively to enhance access to and use of digital platforms working with Ministry of Finance to ensure that digital financial services become the norm as we strive to become a cash-lite society,” she said.<