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Panic withdrawals: Tax cash-outs in order to achieve the aim of e-levy – Ken Ashigbey to govt

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr. Kenneth Ashigbey has urged the government to take a critical look at the panic withdrawals that have preceded the passing of the e-levy.

Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ken Ashigbey

He said many people are withdrawing their monies from their mobile money wallets and if nothing is done about this, it will affect the e-levy.

According to him, should the volume of electronic money transactions continue to decrease, as has been witnessed since the introduction of the E-levy, the purpose of the levy will be defeated.

He has, therefore, proposed taxing of cash-outs in order to discourage people from withdrawing their monies.

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“We need to bear that in mind, that in as much as the government wants to generate some revenue, the alternative and the enemy which is cash, still exists and it’s the thing that a lot of people know and it’s the thing that people will fall back to, naturally. So how do we do all of this, if even we agree to do it, how do we do it in such a way that we don’t mitigate it?

“Example of the Congo is a great one because cash-out is the thing we want to disincentivise, so when you see the Vice President talk about QR code and makes the example of the waakye person where you’re using a QR code to purchase it, it’s because when the money gets into the wallet, people should be able to keep it in the wallet, not just go cash it out and still be able to use it.

“Because what that does is that it enhances traceability, it enhances the information that the monetary policy people and the fiscal policy people can get to aid their planning,” he said.

Dr. Ashigbey lauded the government’s move to exempt merchant payments from the E-levy.

“At the end of the day, when the merchant [makes a transaction], you know that this is a merchant SIM, then all transactions that are on that particular merchant SIM are turnover for the person.

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