Parliament has adjourned sitting sine die to January 18, 2022, after failing to pass the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy of 1.75% (e-levy).
The House reconvened today, Tuesday, December 21, 2021, following the abrupt suspension of sittings by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrews Asiamah, after a fight broke out during the voting on the e-levy Monday night.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, prayed the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, who was presiding sitting to adjourn the house until January 18, for cooler heads to prevail.
According to him, the house wasn’t in a serene environment to conduct business, considering the events of the previous night.
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who seconded the Majority Leader indicated that the adjournment will allow for more consultations on some outstanding issues.
“It is important that we carry the country along, and we need to demonstrate to the country that our democracy is growing and will not suffer some unacceptable scenes and spectacles we’ve witnessed on the floor.”
“So I can only concur with what the leader has said, so you adjourn the House sine die for some consultation on the outstanding issue,” Mr Iddrissu stated.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 Budget on Wednesday, November 17, announced that the government intends to introduce an electronic transaction levy (e-levy).
The levy, he revealed is being introduced to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector”. This followed a previous announcement that the government intends to halt the collection of road tolls.
The proposed levy, which will come into effect in 2022, is a charge of 1.75% on the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.
Explaining government’s decision, the Finance Minister revealed that the total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated to be over GH¢500 billion (about $81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion ($12.5 billion) in 2016. Thus, the need to widen the tax net to include the informal sector.