E-Levy: Ghanaians must demand transparency not rejection, says Afenyo-Markin

The Deputy Majority Leader says the policy is an innovative one that will ensure an improvement on revenue generation in the country

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamena Afenyo-Markin, has said Ghanaians must demand transparency and accountability in the implementation of the controversial E-Levy instead of rejecting the bill.

He said the policy is an innovative one that will ensure an improvement on revenue generation in the country.

Talking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (25 February), Afenyo-Markin said the E-Levy is necessary to ensure Ghana’s development.

“We are letting them know that this is a necessary levy, if we had other means for me the way to go is rather to ask for a transparent system of  accounting for this Levy and I will support that call, where every six months the ministry of finance will be required together with the roads and highways minister, trade to come and update Parliament on the extent to which these levies have been utilised.

“Of course, Ghanaians will have the opportunity to probe, to demand accountability, to demand transparency, a system where regularly ministers will come and say ‘look, we received so much, we have done this road, we have done this bridge and you will attest to it’.”

Afenyo-Markin added: “I think the concerns of many is that ‘oh we pay the taxes,  we don’t see much,’ so it again means that government must re-engineer its communication on policy implementation, communication on what it does.”

Publish revenue accrued from E-Levy

Meanwhile the pressure group, OccupyGhana is demanding for a quarterly publication of revenue and details of disbursement of revenue accrued from the controversial E-Levy bill if it is finally passed.

According to them, the suggestion will demonstrate the government’s commitment to a fiscally transparent and accountable regime.

A statement issued by OccupyGhana said it will however agree to the passage of the bill under three strict conditions namely total implementation of income tax laws, absolute commitment to recovering misused monies and complete fiscal transparency and accountability .

“Further, it is time for proper fiscal transparency and fiscal accountability. After several years of fiscal inefficiencies, no Government should use Ghana’s low tax revenue-GDP ratio as justification to impose a tax like the E-Levy, without a social contract that is based on fiscal transparency and accountability,” it said.

“Thus, if the E-Levy is approved by Parliament, that legislation must also require Government to submit itself to a fiscally transparent and accountable regime where in every quarter of the year, Government will at the minimum, publish the revenue from the E-Levy and details of how the revenue was disbursed.”

“Our position: any reintroduction of the E-Levy bill to Parliament must come with clear and satisfying answers to these concerns because the E-Levy will be meaningless unless it is linked with (1) the total implementation of our income tax laws, (2) absolute commitment to recovering our misused monies, and (3) complete fiscal transparency and accountability,” the statement added.

Fred Dzakpata

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