The unwanted electronic direct debit policy of the government – Chambre des Télécoms

Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications Director General Ken Ashigbey said the introduction of the 1.75% tax on electronic financial transactions was inappropriate.

He said the chamber was not consulted by the government on the proposal until the announcement was made in parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

“When we got this information, it was surprising because there had been no prior commitment to discuss this e-direct debit. Now is not the time to tax this nascent industry, and we had to let it [the industry] grow, defeat money before attempting any form of taxation, ”he declared.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, when reading the 2022 budget to parliament on Wednesday, said the government was introducing a 1.75% tax on electronic payments as part of efforts to increase revenue for support the government’s development program, including road maintenance. .

Transactions affected by the tax include mobile money transactions, inbound remittances, and ATM withdrawals.

The announcement drew mixed reactions, with many Ghanaians opposing it entirely, while others called for it to be reduced.

According to Ken Ashigbey, the chamber is eager to engage the government and other stakeholders on the tax.

“The Minister of Finance mentioned the fact that during the deliberation on this tax, they sought to protect the government’s financial inclusion program as well as vulnerable people in society. He also added that there would be engagement with the industry, so we hope that this engagement with the ministry, GRA and other regulators will determine how this tax will be implemented, ”he said.

Mr Ashigbey further noted that there is a potential for “double taxation and electronic purchasing of goods and services is also very expensive” which may cause people to switch back to cash.

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