U-turn; they say “is a complete change of opinion, direction, and etc”. In regards to this topic, U-turn is a sudden and complete change of policy by a government or by someone in Authority.
In Ghana, the Electronic Levy (e-levy), is a 1.5% tax on electronic transactions such as; “All inward remittances (which would be paid by the recipient), All person-to-person (P2P) mobile transactions (which includes sending of funds to another account, payment for goods and services, payment of utilities, and All POS/Merchant payments.
Many Ghanaians; including the Minority group in Parliament, were against the e-levy claiming it does not serve the interest of common people.
The Government on the other hand, tried all means possible to convince the population, on the importance of the levy. It argued that; “E-levy could raise about $1.15billion, which will widen the country’s tax net, it will create jobs for over 11 million people, and also help prevent Ghana from going back to the International Monitory Fund (IMF) for financial support.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, warned Ghanaians of dire consequences for the economy, should the e-levy be rejected. According to him, going back to the IMF, will stall all economic improvements the government has made over the years; and that Ghana “will have to go the IMF for assistance if the e-levy is not passed:.
The Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah, also defended the e-levy; saying the money that would be generated from it, would be used for the payments of contractors in Ghana; and also support entrepreneurship, cyber and digital security and road infrastructure.
So…in brief, the Nana Addo Bawumia Government, prior to the approval of the controversial electronic levy, convinced Ghanaians, that, the introduction of the levy is necessary to help prevent the country from Going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Just about a month after the passage of the bill; and the implementation of the e-levy, the government has hinted that, Ghana may still going to the IMF for help. And this was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. John Kumah.
According to the Deputy Finance Minister, the “Government may consider going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), for a programme if the current home grown programme fails to bring the needed economic stability, and restore investor confidence”.
Speaking on JoyNews on 13 June, 2022, Dr. John Kumah hinted that, “…an IMF programme will be pursued if needed”. This is coming at a time government has been criticized for failing to take the bold step of subscribing to a Fund programme to address the imbalances within the economy.
According to him, “If it [bringing the economy back to life] becomes impossible, then going to IMF, is the only alternative to salvage our economy. But where we are now, we think we are in the position to salvage the economy or to try the homegrown policy we are adopting”.
It is also said; that, “There is no smoke without fire”; which means that if we hear something about someone or something, there could be some amount of truth in it…and in this case, Dr. john Kumah; being the the Deputy Finance Minister, and also the very first government official to speak these words; (Government may consider going to the IMF”, for a programme, if the current home grown programme fails to bring the needed economic stability, and restore investor confidence), means Ghanaians should start getting their minds ready, and shouldn’t be surprise if Government makes the IMF moves.
Yes we believe; that there is no perfection on this earth, but one may also be wondering…why would there be a ‘U-turn’ at all?
In Just a moth after the implementation of the e-levy; and upon all the arguments in support of the controversial bill, why is the Deputy Finance Minister, at this stage start hinting Ghanaians, of Government going to IMF, if some of the e-levy programe fails; or has the Government started failing on the e-levy?
Now; If the comments by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, prior to the passage of the e-levy bill; that “the Ghanaians economy will be in dire consequences should the e-levy be rejected; and that, going back to the IMF, will stall all economic improvements the government has made over the years, is true, then ‘why on earth’ would the same IMF be an option in the future, if some e-levy programs fails?
Another question is…is the E-levy programe failing, or has the government foresee, that it would fail; and so preparing our mind for an IMF option.