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Seth Terkper says gov’t will still struggle to meet 2022 revenue target despite E-Levy passage

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has expressed doubt over government’s ability to meet the revenue target of GH¢ 100 billion, despite the approval of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) law.

The implementation of the E-levy, which is expected to commence in May 2022, was originally expected to help bring in about GH¢6.9 billion this year to shore up government’s revenue.

The total projected revenue for 2022 of a GH¢100 billion, represents a 39% increase over the revised revenue target of GH¢72 billion in 2021.

In an interview with Citi FM, Mr. Terkper noted that the target for this year is too ambitious.

“The estimate for 2021 was GH¢72 billion. When the 2022 budget was presented, it changed to GH¢ 70 billion. The Bank of Ghana’s MPC report suggests that the revenue the country could generate in 2021 was GH¢67 billion. If it is GH¢67 then we have fallen short of the original target by about GH¢ 5 billion.”

“So the question that comes up is if all that the GRA could bring is G¢ 67 billion in 2021, and we are expecting to collect about GH¢30 billion more that represents about half of what GRA brought in last year. So you will agree with me that this year’s target is ambitious, and it includes the E-Levy,” he added.

READ ALSO :  E-Levy implementation starts on May 1 - GRA

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), despite the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has set a tax target of GH¢80.3 billion for the 2022 revenue collection year, the Finance Ministry has announced.

The Authority, according to the Ministry is expected to meet this year’s target just like it did in the mobilization of the 2021 target where it was able to collect a little over GH¢57.32 billion as against a target of GH¢57.02 billion.

A speech read on behalf of the finance minister by George Swanzy Winful, Director of Revenue Policy at the Finance Ministry at the observation of the International Customs Day in Accra yesterday, said the Ministry and the GRA are optimistic of exceeding the 2022 target.

“In achieving this target, it is my hope that the GRA and the Customs Division will pay particular attention to adopting the data culture and innovative technologies to help move GRA’s revenue mobilization to another level,” the minister said.

Mr Ofori Atta stated that the Finance Ministry will continue to support the various initiatives of the GRA on digitization drive to ensure that the needed revenue is effectively and efficiently mobilized.

Commenting on the theme for the event, ‘Scaling Up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’, GRA’s Commissioner General, Dr Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah explained that the theme falls within the authority’s transformation agenda going forward.

He said the effect of COVID-19 on the global economy has left the authority with no option than to leverage data culture and technology to appropriately stay relevant in revenue collection.

“In 2020, the authority introduced the Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) at the country’s ports to block all revenue loopholes and facilitate trade. The cashless system was also launched in 2021 among others,” Dr Owusu-Amoah said.

Equally, the Customs Division of the GRA has embraced modern technologies which has brought up major innovative ways to implement effective controls to enhance and accelerate revenue collection processes.