The Deputy Finance Minister says government through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) is responding to the concerns raised with the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (e-Levy).
Dr John Kumah said government will not renege in addressing these challenges faced by the citizenry with the implementation of the law.
He told JOYNEWS’ AM Show on Friday that the safe implementation of the law is of the utmost interest to government.
Dr Kumah disclosed that government is still working around the clock to ensure all the anomalies are addressed adequately.
“We also accept these challenges that have come and the complaints of charges that are exempted but are still being charged, and I can tell you that over the period GRA has been refunding through the telcos and the other charging entities a lot of the illegal and irregular charges that were not supposed to be done.
“So we are proactively responding to all the challenges that have been raised, and we will continue to improve the system and respond to the concerns as they come.”
He, however, rejected the concerns that the government should have waited and ensure the system for the implementation was properly secured before implementing it.
This, he said, government is better off implementing a “good system” and better it as it progresses with the implementation.
The Deputy Finance Minister maintained that there isn’t going to be any perfect system for the implementation unless the system is implemented and the challenges are addressed on the way.
“On the issue of why not wait, if you have a good system which you can roll out and test for July, you don’t have to wait for a better one or the best one before you do it because either way, you still have to test run it.
“So let’s even assume that from the May to July is just a good system, but we can have a better one, you are okay to do with a good system and deal with the challenges that come with it until you are able to get the July where you have the common platform and all the telcos and the charging entities are properly incubated on it, and you are able to know in real-time how the system is running.”
“It can only get better, but I don’t we have to wait for a better system when we have a good one and say you are looking to perfect it. We are not going to have any better time in its implementation.”
On the issue of education, he said the government has been consistent in its quest to educate the citizenry on the law. He however said the government was not going to have enough education on the tax policy.
“E-levy education I think we have been consistent with a lot of education on it. Obviously, I don’t think we can have a lot of education, public lectures, town hall meetings and engagements, and moving from one TV station to the other. So everybody has been engaging the public on the e-levy. I think we were not going to have enough on it.”
The e-Levy is 1.5% on all electronic transfers.
It was rolled out by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on May 1, after the E-levy Bill was passed by Parliament and subsequently assented to by President Akufo-Addo.
The implementation of the levy was initially greeted with displeasure from the public domain, with panic withdrawals hitting various mobile money vending stations due to the fact that a lot of people were withdrawing from the service.
Others also complained about wrongful deductions which resulted from transactions that were exempt, but the Authority has been refunding those deductions.
However, the GRA, in collaboration with the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications and other stakeholders, has heightened sensitisation on the e-levy to assuage the public’s fears and restore their confidence in the usage of electronic wallets.