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Gov’t seeks small share from MoMo transactions because the value in 2020 was $99bn – Adu Boahen

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Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, has given details of the value of Mobile Money transactions from 2016 till date.

According to him, the data for 2020 was 99 billion dollars.

“So Mobile Money in 2016, the total value of the transaction is about 20billion dollars which was about 79 billion cedis. In 2020, when we have the latest data it had skyrocketed to 99bn dollars.”

“In 2017, it went to 35bn dollars about 156bn cedis, then it went to 48bn dollars in 2018 of about 223bn cedis.

“In fact, in 2020 the number was 99bn dollars. A thousand transactions per second. All government is asking for is a small share.” he said on the Good Evening Ghana show on Thursday, January 20.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, speaking in a press conference at Accra on Wednesday, January 19th opens up on what the government’s Plan B is for the economy and revenue generation as the plan is for the government to remain focused and get the proposed E-levy through to ensure the domestic revenue mobilization is solid.

He emphasized that there cannot be absolute agreement on the government’s policies.

“There is no way we can have an absolute agreement.

“We are going up by 40 percent with regards to revenue mobilization and then the expenditure is also going up by 25 percent. We have always been very good about being able to cut down on expenditure appropriately when we don’t meet our target.”

“With this new dawn of GRA exceeding targets, we expect that to continue. With the new national ID system, 15.5 million people are going
to be on their books.

“That is what gives me the excitement into the future because when I read the Fitch Report, you are doubting that we can make our revenues. I am confident that we can. They are worried that we cant come to the international market. We are saying it’s fine, we have our SDRs that will suffice for the first half, and then we will figure out another method of getting there.

“So plan B is to stay focused and ensure that we get our E-levy through, ensure that our domestic revenue mobilization is strong and that be, we do not need to go the market.”

The proposed E-levy on all electronic transactions in the 2022 budget statement has caused issues in parliament between the minority and majority as the minority MPs have rejected the proposal.

the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the policy proposal is a disincentive to the growth of the digital economy.

Speaking at a post-budget workshop in Ho on Saturday, November 20, he
said “Mr. Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy as some have quite named it.

“Mr. Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of the digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support the government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build a national consensus on that particular matter.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced this levy to be charged by the government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to broaden the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists an enormous potential to increase tax
revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy,” Mr. Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022
budget statement in Parliament.

“After considerable deliberations, the government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the
informal sector. This shall be known as the ‘Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy’.”

“A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure, among others.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, the total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer