Bawumia promises to repeal E-levy if voted as President
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has pledged to abolish the contentious levy on electronic transactions, known as the E-Levy, should he assume office.
Addressing Ghanaians on Wednesday, February 7, 2024, the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party articulated his vision of transforming Ghana into a cashless economy, citing its potential to bolster economic growth and combat corruption.
In his address, Dr. Bawumia emphasized the necessity of incentivizing the populace to embrace electronic payment channels to achieve this objective.
He declared unequivocally, “To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore be abolished.”
The E-Levy, implemented on May 1, 2022, imposes a 1% levy on various electronic transactions, including mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. Notably, transactions amounting to GH¢100 or less per day are exempt from this levy.
While the government had touted the E-Levy as a means to broaden the tax base and generate revenue for developmental initiatives, Dr. Bawumia underscored the imperative of transitioning Ghana into a cashless society.
He emphasized transparency as a potent antidote to corruption, highlighting the traceability and accountability afforded by increased electronic payments.
Dr. Bawumia outlined the strides made towards achieving this vision, citing initiatives such as mobile money interoperability, merchant interoperability, the Universal QR Code payment system, Gh-Link, debit cards, Ezwich, and GhanaPay.
Speaking further, he noted the completion of the pilot project for a digital version of the Ghana cedi note, known as the central bank digital currency (CBDC) or e-cedi.
“We have put in place the necessary infrastructure for Ghana to go cashless. Recently the Bank of Ghana has completed a pilot of a digital version of the Ghana cedi note in Sefwi Wiawso. This is known as central bank digital currency (CBDC) or e-cedi. The e-cedi is designed to work online and offline and will be launched by the Bank of Ghana in due course.”
“In my humble opinion, the e-cedi, with appropriate privacy protections, will be the ultimate weapon in our fight against corruption because it will provide transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, robbery, tax avoidance, and money laundering since it will be easy to track the movement of money and identify suspicious activity. The e-cedi will quicken the pace of Ghana’s move towards a cashless or near cashless society,” he stated.