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Sunday, January 29, 2023

IMF engagement: E-levy was the bait – Think Tank

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The government’s decision to introduce the Electronic Transaction Tax, popularly known as E-levy, was to pave the way for it to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This is according to the Executive Director of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation, Peter Bismark Kwofie.

According to him, the IMF needed adequate financing assurance through taxes before agreeing to assist Ghana to resuscitate its economy.

Mr. Kwofie’s comment is in reaction to the government’s decision to fall on IMF for fiscal direction in the wake of the country’s dwindling economy.

The move has generated mixed reactions and controversy with most people fearing that cost of living will move from bad to worse.

The government has however appealed for calm, sharing the belief that the IMF conditionalities will be favorable to all Ghanaians.

But, speaking on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem programme Monday, Peter Kwofie advised the government to quit the “political gimmicks”.

In his view, the government lied to Ghanaians when it claimed E-levy will generate the needed revenue for infrastructural projects when in fact it was just baiting for an IMF bailout.

“The introduction of E-levy was the bedrock for seeking IMF bailout. Without E-levy, IMF won’t support us,” the development expert stressed.

He also dashed the hopes of those hoping that E-levy will be abolished because the government has gone to IMF.

“E-levy was to let IMF leverage it to come to help Ghana and it cannot be abolished because it is the collateral,” Mr Kwofie added.

As an immediate measure, he charged President Akufo-Addo, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to render an unqualified apology to Ghanaians for the “deceit”.

“Government has deceived us; they need to show remorse and apologise and Ghanaians will forgive them” he opined.

Play the attached audio below for more.

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