North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, says government has exaggerated the gains the Electronic Transaction levy (E-levy) Bill will bring to Ghanaians.

Speaking on the floor of the House on Tuesday, Dr Ato Forson disclosed how the levy has been touted as the panacea for the distressed Ghanaian economy.

“Today, we’ve been told this tax can cure most of the sicknesses of this Ghanaian economy to the extent that this tax is more powerful than most of the herbal medicines that we have seen.”

He further alleged that it has been said that “this tax can even cure Honourable Okudzeto Ablakwa’s bald head”.

His submission on the North Tongu MP’s hair loss gave rise to a moment of laughter in Parliament despite a heated debate.

Dr Ato Forson made the comment after the Majority in Parliament moved a motion to consider the implementation of the 1.5% E-levy.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Minister of State in charge of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, were present in the House today to facilitate the passage of the bill.

According to the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam MP, the controversial bill is not sufficient to rid Ghana of all its economic challenges.

He, therefore, entreated Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta “to come with a comprehensive package in restoring economic stability and not to behave as if E-levy is the panacea to our economic problems.”

Dr Ato Forson believes the Electronic Transaction levy should not be described as such, but rather “digital pocket tax”.

He said such a name is appropriate because “this is a dangerous tax. It is a tax seeking to digitally take money from the pocket.”