For years, traders who carried a lot of cash on them on long-distance travels to purchase goods complained about incessant attacks by armed robbers.
However, the situation drastically changed when they switched to using mobile money transfers.
As they are overly reliant on mobile money now, some traders at Racecourse, a popular market in Kumasi for instance, say they fear their businesses could grind to a halt if the electronic transaction levy is implemented as it will adversely affect their finances.
Some have lamented that they usually borrow the capital they use for their business activities from other people, and then load it onto their mobile money wallets just to avoid being victims of armed robbery attacks or theft.
They, therefore, believe it will impact them badly if taxes would be taken from them for sending out their capital.
“I think this policy will negatively impact traders. Not all of us are rich. We borrow from some people in order to get our capital. We are even supposed to pay interest. We have been advised to load the money on our mobile money wallet to be safe from harassment by armed robbers. Even if the phone is stolen, the money in the wallet will still be intact, so we can withdraw our money. But why will the government be taxing the capital that we are supposed to use for our businesses? Our businesses will collapse if that happens. We are therefore appealing to the government to find other alternative ways of taxing than resorting to this,” a trader, Victoria Enyonam lamented.
Other traders who share similar sentiments are also urging the government to abort plans of introducing the policy.
“As a result of mobile money, people can receive the money and then bring the goods here. If the tax is going to be introduced, they won’t be bringing them to me here again since they will be making losses. In that case, how will my family and I survive,?” Afia Gladys, a disturbed trader asked.
For Akua Mercy, who travels to the Côte d’Ivoire border in order to get fish to sell and relies heavily on mobile money, she believes the introduction of the E-levy will compound their woes.
“My worry is that we take our goods from the Abidjan border. Already, the people there cheat us. It would be worse if the government implements the E-levy”.