Govt won’t scrap e-levy though we’re going to the IMF – NPP MP

Kweku Kwarteng, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, has rubbished calls for the scrapping of the e-levy.

Kwaku Kwarteng

He said calls by some Ghanaians that the controversial tax should be scrapped because the government has contacted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance is unfounded.

Mr. Kwarteng said the E-levy was never proposed as an alternative to the IMF.

“I’ve heard people make comments as though the pain of E-levy can be escaped if you go for an IMF programme. The IMF is going to come and start discussions. When they come to your country, they do not come and tell you to relax taxes. In fact, they will probably come and say E-levy is not enough. When IMF comes to your economy, the records show, they will say don’t employ people, cut your expenditures and increase your revenue so you may have to take on more revenue measures,” he said on Citi FM in Accra.

The Ministry of Information on Friday, July 1, 2022, announced that President Akufo-Addo had given approval for Ghana to begin engagements with the IMF for a bailout. The ministry said the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta will be leading the negotiations with the IMF in the coming days.

Meanwhile, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the NPP has said the frustration of the e-levy by members of the opposition is the reason the government is going to the IMF.

He said the homegrown solutions proposed by the Akufo-Addo government was frustrated by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Speaking on Newsfile in Accra, Mr. Otchere-Darko said the NDC is partly to blame for the current predicament the government finds itself in.

“Governments made their policies based on the e-levy because they expected it to raise the revenue”, he said.

“In terms of managing the economy, there were challenges but government was handling it well. Government saw the challenges and went to Parliament to set up policies but it was frustrated in parliament.”

“It's unfortunate that we were forced to the IMF but I am not too pessimistic about it”, he added.

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