The Minister for Railways Development, Mr. John-Peter Amewu has justified the need for the introduction of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy), saying, ‘government does not grow money on trees to fund developmental projects.’
Speaking at the government’s Townhall meeting in Ho on Friday, the Hohoe MP posited that, the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy, of which the Ghanaian economy was no exception, had compelled the government to adopt difficult but necessary measures to keep the economy afloat.
According to him, revenue measures such as the e-levy was necessary to raise the needed resources domestically to fund the various developmental initiatives, so much desired by citizens across the country.
‘We all desire for development, but the truth is that, government does not grow money on trees to fund such development,’ Mr. Amewu stated and urged the citizens to support the government through the payment of the e-levy to help fix the roads, and many social amenities they seek.
Reacting to proposals that, the government should find alternative sources to raise resources for development and jettison the e-levy, which some believed would overburden the citizens, the Hohoe legislator said there was no alternative to domestic revenue mobilization, since external loans would still have be paid for with revenues from domestic sources.
He therefore appealed to residents of the Volta region to consider the benefit of the Levy to the country, and ignore the propaganda of the opposition NDC MPs, whom he said want to make political capital out of the policy.
On his part, Mr. Pius Hadzide, CEO of the National Youth Authority, urged young people in the region to prevail on their MPs to pass the e-levy in order for the government to fund the various youth interventions captured in the 2022 budget.
“It was heartwarming that the Parliament of Ghana accepted the Agyenkwa Budget and passed the appropriation bill. I thank the government and Members of parliament, especially the 17 NDC MPs from the Volta region, for thinking about the youth and passing the appropriation bill,” he stated and appealed to the MPs to conclude the process by approving the e-levy, which is a key revenue measure needed to fund the 13 youth interventions in the budget.
‘There are as such as 13 interventions for the youth in the budget, one of which is the YouStart initiative, which will build the capacity and provide funding to young entrepreneurs. And The e-levy is a critical source of funding for this initiative,’ Mr. Hadzide stated.
Dr. Archibald Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister also indicated that, various road projects in the region which have been earmarked in the 2022 budget for construction, could suffer delays should government not raise the needed resources to execute them, hence appealed to all stakeholders support the government in that regard by embracing the e-levy.
Both the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta and Information Minister, Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who addressed the townhall meeting, also took turns to respond to queries from participants, drawn from various interest groups in the region.