The GHS241.9 million deal originally awarded to Ghanaian FinTech, ExpressPay to monitor the collection of the controversial electronic transaction levy (E-Levy) has been cancelled, TechGH24 has learnt from a deep throat.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been tasked to look for another vendor for the job, giving a clear indication that government does not intend to completely scrap the idea of monitoring the E-Levy collection in spite of the massive public criticism.
Member of Parliament for South Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa was the first to allege that following public outcry and a rejection of the 2022 budget due to the E-Levy collection monitoring allocation, cabinet had taken a decision to set it aside.
But the Finance Ministry swiftly debunked that allegation with a statement on its website saying that they were untrue and that the over GHS240 million E-Levy services deal will still appear in the Appropriation Bill for next year, and GRA will still go ahead and implemented it as planned.
TechGH24 has however learnt from a very reliable source that at least the deal has been taken away from ExpressPay and the GRA is working on getting another vendor for the job.
In the presentation of government’s 2022 budget statement, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that beginning January 2022, there will be a 1.75% e-levy on all electronic financial transactions, including mobile money, with up to GHS100 per day exempted.
The announcement was met with huge public outcry and criticism about how the e-levy will derail the government’s own financial inclusion and digital Ghana agenda, plus it will deplete value for players in the eCommerce and e-Payments industry.
But government insist this is the time for it, given the exponential growth in digital transaction since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March last year.
While the public was yet chewing on the idea of whether to go ahead with the e-levy as is, reduce it or even increase the exemption threshold, it emerged that government also sneaked an e-levy service budget of over GHS241.9 million into the budget, meant for the monitoring of its collection.
The Minority in Parliament have sworn to reject that service bill in its totality, while some industry experts have suggested that since mobile money transactions are for instance monitored by the Common Platform already, monitory e-levy collection should not be a job for another entity at such huge cost to the state.