Former Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah is asking the government to reconsider its decision not to go back to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the face of the country’s dwindling revenues.
He maintains that the government’s insistence on passing the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) to shore up its revenue target is not right given the existential economic challenges.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration has indicated that despite Ghana’s fiscal crisis, it is not settling on returning to the IMF for financial support but will look at prioritizing domestic revenue generation through the implementation of the E-Levy.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta believes, going to the IMF again will have dire economic implications.
But speaking to Citi News, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah said a return to the IMF as a monetary organisation should not be viewed as a failure, but rather an avenue to salvage Ghana’s receding economy.
“Without a doubt, I think we should be placing a call to Washington if we haven’t really done that. We are just not going to ask for the funds just because E-levy has been passed or not. E-levy will just bring about GH¢5 billion. We are in a deep hole of our tax revenue and facing difficulties, so going to the Fund will give us some support.”
“So there is nothing wrong with going to the Fund. Ghana is a member of the IMF so what is wrong going to ask for support when we are in difficulties to go and pool resources. If I was the finance minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back”.
Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah also added that the revenue expected to be accrued from the E-levy is insufficient to the extent that, it will not be able to ensure the economic stability government is eyeing.
“The GH¢6.9 billion target cannot be realized. There are a lot of exemptions so, in my estimation, the maximum amount we can get from the E-levy is GH¢5 billion, and that is less than a billion dollars, so I do not think that the E-levy is going to be a panacea to our revenues. Going to the IMF will ensure some stability and above all, we are going to get some $3 billion”.
The process to pass the electronic transfer levy has been characterized by controversy and fisticuffs in parliament.
At the moment, the e-levy bill has not been approved, as Parliament on Tuesday announced that a new date for the consideration of the e-levy will be determined in consultation to deliberate on the passage of the bill.