GHANA: Vendors bemoan negative impact of E-Levy after 1st month of implementation

After a month of implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy), mobile money agents and users of the platform in Accra continue to bemoan its impact on their lives.

Checks by Citi Business news show that while some are trying to find ways around the payment of the levy others are hoping things take a turn for the better.

The implementation of the 1.5% E-Levy which started on Sunday, May 1, 2022, was done in a modified manner by the implementing agency, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in collaboration with the Telecom companies, and began despite a legal action filed at the Supreme Court by the minority in parliament against the passage of the law granting the collection of the tax, as well as opposition to its implementation from different stakeholders.

So what has been the key learnings for key stakeholders like agents after a month of implementation? George Sintim-Misa is a vendor and he says the job has not been the same since 1st May 2022.

“I had customers that would normally come and send money but they don’t come anymore. I also had people who would come and do deposits but we are not seeing them again. When they come they prefer the agents to do the sending of monies for them because of the E-levy. The job is not like before.”

For some users of the platform, the toll of the levy cannot be ignored. Kwabena Fosu is an artist and he expresses concern about the level of withdrawals.

“We do withdraw money but the introduction of the E-levy has made it difficult for us. We are now torn between using mobile money or saving money in our houses. From our observation, the E-Levy is helping some but not us.”

“We send money a lot. We can’t say we’ll stop sending money. What we want to say is that the introduction of the E-Levy is however having a toll on us. The deductions are too much. If you look at the quantum of deductions, it can be used for something productive,” he added.

For Moses Martey Azu, he has found a way to avoid paying the E-Levy.

“I learnt you are only deducted when you send money to someone. So since the introduction of the E-levy, I have not sent money through my phone. To avoid being deducted, I send the money through the vendor.”