The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has expressed surprise as to why Ghana’s Parliament has passed the Appropriation Bill, and yet a key revenue generation component, the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) has not been approved.
He says the delay in getting the E-levy passed is adversely affecting government business, and has described those opposing it, as being overly partisan.
He contends that widening the tax net is the best way to develop the country using its own resources, without relying on other countries.
According to Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, going to the International Monetary Fund, IMF is not a good call since it comes with stringent preconditions which could restrict the government’s ability to employ more people.
“I am surprised that in parliament, the Appropriation Bill has been passed. A component of the Appropriation Bill, a source of revenue is now an issue. My question to the 8th parliament is, why then did you pass the bill? Because the approval of the Appropriation Bill means that the government can go ahead and spend, you are also saying that the source of revenue in that bill can’t be passed. I think we need to start thinking more about this country and the development of this country rather than being too partisan,” the Minister said while inaugurating the Ashanti Regional Youth Parliament in Kumasi.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, Pius Enam Hadzide, in an address at the same event said the passage of the E-levy in parliament will ensure that the government delivers on its mandate.
“Nowadays you here many politicians shout, we won’t pay taxes. We don’t want E-levy. But the question is, where does Ghana get money for building the roads and the bridges we want? Where will we get the money to finance free SHS, building hospitals and pay salaries?,” he quizzed.