The government has been urged to plug the many loopholes in its fiscal regime, tighten financial administration and ensure maximum transparency in the use of public funds.
It should also cut down on some unwarranted expenditures, reduce the size of government and find innovative means of making the country’s resources yield maximum benefits for the citizenry rather than overly stretch the bounds of Ghanaians, particularly, the public sector workers.
Madam Stella Kwofie, a resident of Takoradi, said this during the Western Regional Town Hall meeting organised by the Ministry of Information to deepen citizens understanding of the benefits of the E-levy.
The levy is to allow the government to generate revenue from electronic transactions, including mobile money.
The town hall meetings are to enable the government to get the buy-in of the public before the debate of the levy in Parliament and its possible passage into law.
Dr Eric Amartey, of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), also wondered whether the E-levy would not affect people on Government payroll who were already burdened with other forms of taxation.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, responding to the concerns, said the E-levy was a deep request from the President to create jobs, build more infrastructure to improve the general well-being of Ghanaians.
He said the current situation where only a percentage of Ghanaians paid taxes was not favourable to realizing the rapid socio-economic aspirations of the country.
Mr Ofori-Atta said, “The E-levy will make all Ghanaians responsible in paying taxes and reinforce their moral rights to demand more social amenities and development.”
The E-levy, he touted, would help boost education delivery, strengthen internal security, Health care services as well as other government flagship programmes, especially the “YouStart” programme.
He said currently, the proposed 1.75% had been slashed to 1.5% and covers a regime of electronic transactions since the terrain was emerging and could be a possible source for revenue generation.
Mr Ofori-Atta said the Levy could help the Region to have the much desired new Regional Hospital among others.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said generating more revenue was critical in contributing to the economic independence of the state and in order to achieve the President Ghana Beyond Aid policy.
The Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Mr Andrew Agyapa Mercer said the government needed more revenue to make up for the losses during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic and the management of the Banking crisis.