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Provide clarity and certainty on E-Levy Bill so we reject it – Haruna to NPP

The Minority in Parliament has asked the Majority to provide “clarity and certainty” on the presentation of the Electronic Transactions Bill (E-Levy) on the floor of Parliament.

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu made the demand Tuesday on the floor of the House after the controversial bill was omitted from the Order Paper schedule of the House for the day.

Raising the concern about the delay in the presentation of the bill in the House, Mr Iddrisu who is also the NDC MP for Tamale South asked the Majority Leader and NPP MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, to provide clarity and certainty on the status of the bill.

“On this very important matter of national interest, there can be no surprises. So we want the leader of government business (the Majority Leader) to lead us through,” he said and went on to quiz “When will the bill be brought to Parliament? Will it be re-introduced as a new bill or we are taking it under certificate of urgency?”

The Minority Leader reiterated the NDC MPs’ resolve to reject the bill which seeks to impose 1.75 percent tax on selected electronic transactions.

 

“As we have publicly said, we want to stand with the Ghanaian people in our opposition and rejection of the bill. We don’t want any surprises so let the leader of government business indicate to us when the bill will come to Parliament and in what form should we anticipate or expect it.

However, Majority Leader Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said his side of the House did not intend to “spring” surprise on the House with the bill.

“So it is not as if anybody wants to spring any surprise on anybody. It would have to be decided on and I would signal him [the Minority Leader] so that we agree on a common date,” the Majority leader said.

He said the majority had the backing of Ghanaians to pass the bill, adding “We on this side want to stand with the republic to ensure the revitalisation of the economy,”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said “If people want to see the collapse of the economy, so be it for them but we want to stand with the republic”.

Opposition

The Minority has kicked against the proposed E- levy ever since it was announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta during the presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of the government to parliament last November.

The NDC side of the House has argued the tax policy would compound the hardship of the Ghanaian and push people to go back to cash-heavy economy at a time the government was championing a cash-light economy.

The Minority’s position has been corroborated by some financial experts who also contend that the implementation of the E-levy could lead to job losses as the country is reviving the economy that was badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For instance, a tax expert  Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, has warned of dire consequences for the country’s quest to digitalise the economy should the 1.75% Electronic Transactions Levy be passed in its current form.

He told Joy News that the passage of the E-Levy Bill could pose challenges for youth employment and give rise to money laundering offences.

 

Source: Myxyzonline.com|Ghana

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