Going to IMF is just for interim relief not a sign of E-levy failure – Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

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The government is requesting a bailout from the International Monetary Fund because the e-levy has failed to generate the necessary revenue, and Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the minister of information, has rejected demands to abolish it (IMF).

He thinks it is reasonable to seek help from the IMF to address the urgent economic issues for the time being while the government implements the e-levy as a self-sufficient income mechanism.

The government had contended that the charge would generate income to address the nation’s economic problems, negating the need to first contact the IMF.

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“Whenever you introduce a revenue measure, it takes a while for it to hit its optimal level. Moreso, the E-Levy has had some loopholes that have to be plugged out by the GRA. The Levy has been heavily bastardized, and so people try to avoid it, and so we are unable to get the full value of what we are looking for. We will have to give it room to reach its optimal level. While at it, we cannot wait for it to reach that maximum level because we have obligations to meet,” Oppong Nkrumah said in an interview with Bernard Avle on Accra-based Citi FM on Monday, July 4.

Ofoase-Ayirebi noted the fierce opposition that greeted the installation of the tax, which many observers perceived as regressive, as the reason why the e-levy has not met the government’s aims in terms of providing money to solve the nation’s economic problems.

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He maintained that the e-levy will eventually generate the needed funds, much like previous revenue-generating projects.

“Why did we intensify townhall meetings in the first place? Because four months after this was proposed, it was still hanging because of some of the scenarios that were happening in Parliament. In this country, we put fiscal policies before Parliament by November, we expect them to be passed by November or December. This makes it pick up and reach optimal levels by the first quarter of the next year. We put the E-Levy before Parliament in November, it took about 4 months for it to be passed, and then we still have the loopholes that we projected to be fixed by the 1st of July,” Oppong Nkrumah said.

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