Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, Deputy Country Director, SEND Ghana, has suggested that Government should implement its proposed 1.75 per cent electronic transactions levy (E-levy) charges by using graduated rates.
He said the graduated rate allocations should start from 0.5 per cent, one per cent, 1.5 per cent and finally, 1.75 per cent.
Dr Ayifah said these rates should also operate within monetary value margins to suit both the rich and poor in society.
He made the suggestions at a sectoral budget forum on the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy in Accra.
Dr Ayifah said the Government needed to properly engage citizens on the e-Levy to help them gain a better understanding.
Stakeholder engagements and education will go a long way to demystify misconceptions related to the e-levy.
He said if this was not done, it could lead to panic withdrawals from Mobile Money accounts, thereby affecting the cash-lite economy that Government wanted to create.
Dr Ayifah advised Government to not only be concerned about how it generated revenue to fund activities and projects but more so, rationalise expenditure in the face of the country’s limited domestic revenue.
Madam Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, Senior Programme Officer, SEND Ghana, commended government for the increase in allocation to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme in 2022.
However, she called for the prompt release of funds to distributors for adequate agricultural inputs to be supplied to the districts for the benefit of smallholder farmers.
This, she said would avert any delay as experienced during the 2021 planting season.
Mrs Anita Asare Awuku, Project Officer, SEND Ghana, asked the Government to increase its capital expenditure budget line item to address infrastructural gaps in the education sector.
She said the eight per cent allocation was not enough to address the estimated 5,403 schools under trees, dilapidated schools and several incomplete school blocks at the secondary school level.
Madam Awuku said there should be investments in e-learning at all levels due to the effects of COVID-19 on education.
She said for Government to complete agenda 111 within 18 months, then it had to improve the capital expenditure and goods and services budget executions rate.
Mr Richard Anane Adortse, Programmes Officer, SEND Ghana, said the Government should consider epidemic preparedness and response funding in the appropriation of funds within the health ministry budget allocation.
He said a proportion of the COVID 19 levy should be appropriated for the establishment of a public health emergency and response fund as recommended in the National Action Plan for Health Security.
Mr Adortse said Government must as a matter of urgency, fast-track the completion of the Ghana National Household Registry to allow for identification and target the extreme poor and vulnerable in society.
He said there should be an increase in the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) cash grant above the poverty line of GH¢2.7.