Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has signed the country’s controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) bill into law paving way for its implementation.
The country’s parliament on Tuesday passed the bill popularly referred to as E-levy to cover electronic transactions including mobile money transfers and payments.
The passage in parliament though was done amid a walkout by opposition lawmakers who have opposed the bill since its introduction.
Last year when the bill was introduced as part of the 2022 budget statement by the country’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta it sparked fury among many Ghanaians.
Its passage in parliament stalled several times and even led to brawls among lawmakers.
The rate for the levy was reviewed downward from initial 1.75% to 1.5%. The government said the implementation of the law will start next month when the Ghana Revenue Authority completes the necessary processes.
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According to the government the E-levy would widen the tax net and raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion ($914 million) in 2022.
The Minority lawmakers in Ghana have filed a suit at the Supreme Court, to challenge the passage of the levy, insisting parliament did not have the numbers to pass it.
Threats of strikes and withdrawals
The Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana has said that most of its members may shut down their mobile money businesses following the passage of the 1.5% Electronic Transfer Levy.
“We may be tempted to withdraw our services because the service already is not all that lucrative,” the General Secretary for the association, Evans Otumfour, said.
“A lot of our people will definitely be out of business… when the policy was announced, there was a sharp decline or drop in the use of mobile money,” he added.
Some mobile money users are also threatening to withdraw monies in their wallets to avoid paying the controversial levy.
Some traders who also use mobile money have also hinted that they will also stop accepting mobile money when the implementation starts.