Parliament will today resume sitting to consider the approval or otherwise of the electronic transaction levy (E-levy) Bill.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is optimistic the House will approve the Bill. This, he said, is because it forms an integral part of the 2022 budget presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
He further explained that the revenue generated from the levy will boost the country’s infrastructural development.
“On Monday, the major revenue source, the E-levy, is going to be considered by Parliament. I want to believe that Parliament, after the unanimous passage of the Appropriation Bill, will rise to the occasion to pass the major revenue source to feed the work program of the government for 2022. I am hugely aware that every Member of Parliament needs roads, educational facilities in his or her constituency.
“The E-levy will be a major booster for these endeavours. That is why I believe that Members of Parliament will not vote against the E-levy to deny their constituents the benefit of basic infrastructural facilities,” the Majority leader stated.
Since the government made known its decision to introduce the 1.75% E-levy as part of its measures to widen the tax net, the Minority in Parliament have registered their displeasure, insisting that the implementation of the Bill will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
They have explained that their position is to reject the introduction of the levy in its entirety and will not accept a reduction of the rate by government.
In view of this, a showdown is expected in Parliament later today, as the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has stated unequivocally that his side of the House is ready for the Majority.
“E-levy means a lot to the Ghanaians and us. If you want E-levy, we are ready for you on Monday and Tuesday in the full glare of the public. We will debate it and vote and take a decision as appropriate. We debate the policy principle of it. We will tell Ghanaians where we stand. That we do not think you are sensitive enough to proceed further with it,” he said.
The E-levy Bill was to be laid before the Finance Committee in Parliament on Friday, December 17, after Speaker Alban Bagbin referred it to the Committee for further deliberations.
However, government pulled the brakes on the Bill to allow for broader consultation.
Speaking to JoyNews, a member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, John Jinapor, confirmed that the Committee did not receive the Bill.
Again, the Yapei Kusawgu MP disclosed that the Committee chair, Kwaku Kwarteng, did not provide reasons for the non-presentation of the Bill for their consideration.
“We were there waiting for the officials from the Finance Ministry. The Minority side was fully represented, and we were ready to do justice to the Bill. But, unfortunately, the officials from the Ministry couldn’t even attend the meeting, let alone be interrogated on the e-levy,” he told JoyNews’ parliamentary correspondent, Kwesi Parker Wilson.