The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has declared that the public authority has nullified all road tolls on open roads and bridges.
As per him, the cost assortment staff will be reassigned adding that the move is relied upon to emphatically affect usefulness and decrease ecological contamination.
Reading the 2022 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Ofori Atta expressed “Mr Speaker, our streets need fixing. Our streets are being fixed. The facts really confirm that more streets have been fixed and are being fixed throughout the most recent five years than any overall period in the whole history of our country. We even need to do much more.
“That is why for decades, Government after Government imposed and maintained tolls on some public roads to raise funds for road construction and maintenance. This is the situation in many countries. Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.
To address these challenges, the Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than offset the revenue forgone by removing the tolls.
The Minister said to make up for the street tolls, the public authority is hoping to present creative methods of raising income, for example, the proposed 1.7% telephone exchanges demand payable by versatile cash clients per exchange above GHS 100.
He said this will assist the public authority with supporting income inflows to finance street projects in the country.
“Total value of transactions for 2020 was estimated to be over GHS 500 billion Cedis compared to GH¢78 billion Cedis in 2016 just 5 years ago, while total mobile money subscribers and active mobile money users have grown by an average rate of 18% and 16% respectively between 2016 and 2019. Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the “shadow economy”.
“After considerable deliberations, Government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the “Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy.”
“Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.
“Mr. Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day (which is approximately GH¢3000 per month) will be exempt from this levy. A portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.
“Mr. Speaker, this new policy comes into effect from 1st February 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.”