A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, is asking the government to heed to calls by stakeholders to return to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to finance the country’s deficit instead of taxing Ghanaians through the electronic transfer levy.
Mr. Terkper who has already registered his opposition to the idea of the e-levy, believes the government cannot rake in the needed amount through the levy to help close the country’s budget deficit.
Seth Terkper’s remarks come after calls from different stakeholders including lawmakers who are against the e-levy, for the government to run to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support and policy credibility.
The former Finance Minister believes the country’s problems of being locked out of the international capital market, among others, will compound in the coming years if government remains adamant and does not take decisive action immediately.
He spoke to Citi TV’s Bernard Avle.
Mr. Terkper noted that the government must consider its expenditure and make some cuts to help the situation.
“Our issue is expenditure. Are we able to finance the programs which we have on the table? Even in the medium-term budget, from 2023 to 2025, you will see E-levy running through it. Even if it has been factored and that is what we are presenting as home-grown, are we not going to borrow? All your revenue from now through that period, if you don’t do any major restructuring, it is only going to pay compensation and interests,” the former minister said.
Meanwhile, the government has reaffirmed its decision to not return to the IMF for support.
According to a deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, the e-levy is a better alternative to a potential return to the IMF.
“Globally, there are issues everywhere and all countries are trying very hard to find space within themselves to develop and then you have [a method you can use] to raise more revenue, and you say you are shelving that and running to IMF?”.
“What happened to homegrown solutions? What happened to the spirit of yes, we can do it ourselves… Let us come together, support this government to push this e-levy, and we will see the results of the E-Levy,” Mrs Asare said.