The Member of Parliament for North Tongu has suggested nine steps the government can use to raise its projected GHS6.9 billion without the introduction of the controversial e-levy.
According to Mr Ablakwa, these steps are clear alternatives to the “killer e-levy if only President Akufo-Addo and his team would be sensitive to the plight of suffering Ghanaians and contain their appetite for profligacy”.
Posted on his Facebook timeline, the steps are as follows:
1) Take out GHS2billion from the GHS3.1billion allocated to the Office of Government Machinery;
2) Suspend the allocation to GAT and immediately GHS1billion becomes available for the government;
3) Negotiate with IPPs and reduce their allocation from GHS4billion to GHS3billion;
4) Review the nebulous GhanaCARES programme and save another GHS1billion;
5) Cut the Contingency Vote down to GHS293,007,000 and free up some GHS700million;
6) Agenda 111 remains a knee-jerk utopia, pull the brakes and save GHS518million;
7) Slash by half the allocation to the National Security Ministry and gain some GHS400million;
8)Parliament should readily sacrifice some GHS200million from its GHS600million allocation;
9) Place on hold the hazy Mortgage Financing Scheme at the Ministry of Finance and save GHS100million.
“Put the above expenditure cuts together and the government immediately raises a handsome GHS6.918billion which exceeds the e-Levy projections,” he added.
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and its Minority have taken an entrenched position against the 1.75 per cent levy which will affect electronic transactions.
Several calls on the government to drop the proposed tax has fallen on deaf ears.
The government has explained that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.
As a result, Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016.
The government says the e-Levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.
The e-levy bill is currently before parliament for deliberations.