Retaining Energy Sector Levy a prudent decision but more accountability needed – IECP

Business News of Friday, 10 February 2017

Source: IECP

2017-02-10

Ken Ofori Atta VettingKen Ofori Atta, Finance Minister

The Institute of Energy and Climate change Policy (IECP) welcome the news by the Finance Minister, Hon Ken Ofori Atta, to retain the energy sector levy in the medium term a prudent one.

This decision the institute believes is an indication that, the government listens and has the interest of the energy sector, particularly the electricity sector, at heart.

Having said that, we urge the finance minister to be more accountable to the people of Ghana regarding the proceeds from the Energy Sector Levy. This we trust will come as welcoming news to the taxpayer who works hard to pay this levy.

IECP believes that, the lack of transparency regarding the revenue flows from the levy and how it is performing in servicing the legacy debt in the power sector is a matter of public concern. The institute entreats the finance minister to do the following to ensure transparency, accountability, and credibility of the government.

First, the institute requests of the finance minister to review the performance of the energy sector levy from the date of its inception to present. This will certainly provide a good and clear sense of how the levy is performing in meeting its objectives. Such information should be made a public knowledge to stimulate effective public discourse.

Second, the institute wishes to appeal to the finance minister to provide routine, either quarterly or every six month report of the income stream status from the levy. This step will give us clear direction and indication of our performance as a country in meeting the goal of settling the legacy debt. Additionally, it will provide a better idea as to the additional efforts needed, for which reason a revision either downwards or upwards could be recommended. This information should also be a public knowledge.

Third, we entreat the finance minister as a matter of urgency to provide the public with the remaining timelines for the settlement of the debt using the levy.

Finally, the energy sector levy is an interim intervention. What this naturally connotes is that, it must one day fade off. The good people of Ghana are interested to know from the new finance minister when this levy would totally be removed, as it is naturally expected.

Signed: Dr. Philip Kofi Adom Director of Research and Policy (IECP) Contact: 0246763661 email:p.adom@iecpghana.org

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