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E-Levy Is Not By Force; Don’t Use Momo If You Can’t Pay – Carlos Ahenkorah

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The Chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee of Parliament, Carlos Ahenkorah has echoed that E-levy is not by force, hence if you can pay don’t use it.

He noted that those who do not want to pay it can choose to keep their money in the mobile money wallet.

According to the Chairman of the Trade and Industry Committee of Parliament, “I have always been saying that the MoMo tax is not a compulsory tax”.

“You only pay when you use it; when you don’t use it, you don’t pay”, he explained.

“If you think it is expensive, there is no other procedure for making payments that will be equal to MoMo”, he noted.

“So, what we are saying is that the tax is targeted at those who have the ability to pay not those who are receiving”, he said.

“So, if you are receiving, it is OK to go and negotiate with the person who has gone to the bank to borrow money to be a MoMo agent to pay money out”.

“Otherwise, keep the money on your phone, and you don’t owe anyone any money”, he told journalists in parliament.

Meanwhile, the Majority Caucus in parliament has said it is ready to work together with the Minority Caucus to come to an agreement on the 1.75% proposed E-levy in the 2022 budget.

This follows the insistence of the Minority Caucus that it is still against the levy in all its entirety.

“Mr Speaker, we believe that the e-levy is punitive; it will undermine our quest to grow a digital economy, it’s seeking to tax transactions – Mr Speaker, you just can imagine remittance was sent to your mother; GHS1,000; he sends GHS800 to a sister; GHS400 to a brother, GHS400 to another brother, all those transactions will be taxed”, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said on the floor of parliament on Tuesday, 7 December 2021 after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta submitted his amendments to the budget to the house for adoption.

The Tamale South MP continued: “Mr Speaker, we are guided by the public good and we think that monies recoverable from the auditor-general’s report can, as well, compensate for the imposition of an e-levy; so, Mr Speaker, we, on this side, are unable to support the government in its quest to impose an e-levy at 1.75% on MoMo and associated transactions including remittances and bank transactions”.

He added: “Therefore, we stand opposed, and at every level that e-levy is introduced, we will stand united to oppose it because it will inflict hardships on the core poor of the Ghanaian people and we stand opposed to it as I indicated earlier that you don’t tax capital; you tax income and revenue”.

“So, Mr Speaker, on the vexed issue of e-levy, we are unable to support the government and we’ll continue to oppose it and oppose it in its entirety, in its character now at the threshold of GHS100 at 1.75%. We will stand with the Ghanaian people just as the people of Cameroon have done in raising our fundamental objections to it”, he noted.

However, Deputy Majority Leader Alexander Afenyo-Markin said: “Mr Speaker, on the e-levy, yes, we respect their views but the minister [of finance] has indicated that there are two important things that they seek to do”.

“I believe that in the final analysis, it is how this is applied that will matter and he has even ensured that he’s going to continue with the consultations and engagements”.

Mr Afenyo-Markin said: “We are of the view that the whole essence of democracy is not to shut the door but to open it up for continuous engagement”.

“Mr Speaker, having said these, I would want to assure our colleagues on the other side that we may be emotional at times, we may disagree and be at each other’s throat at times but in the final analysis, we are ready to work together for the sake of Mother Ghana”.

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