Majority leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has indicated that discussions on the controversial E-levy Bill, has been slated for next week.
Prior to this announcement, all 275 Members of Parliament were hoping to conclude deliberations on the Bill, when Parliament resumed on Tuesday, January 25.
But according to the Majority Leader, there’s the need for the discussions to be postponed because, the Finance Minister is deepening stakeholder conversations, in order to arrive at the best outcome for all Ghanaians.
“Rt. Hon. Speaker, as Hon. Members would recall, the House was expected to conclude consideration and passing of the Electronic Transaction Levy Bill, 2021 by the end of the Third Meeting of the First Session. Due to unforeseen circumstances, however, the House was unable to consider and pass the Bill at the end of the Meeting.
It was, therefore, within the contemplation of the Business Committee that the Bill will be scheduled for consideration by the House during the First Week of the First Meeting of the Second Session. However, upon consultation with the sponsoring Minister, the Committee is not able to programme same this first week of resumption.
The Finance Minister is undertaking further engagement with stakeholders and sections of the general public in respect of some concerns raised on the Bill. The Committee will, however, programme the Bill for consideration during the Second Week of this Meeting and Hon. Members are, therefore, encouraged to participate fully in the consideration and conclusion of the processes of the passage of the Bill for the benefit of the economy”, the Majority Leader stated.
Meanwhile, MPs from the Minority have reiterated their resolve to fight against the passage of the E-levy Bill. According to them, government’s decision to impose a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions will collapse local businesses and deepen hardship in the country.
The Majority however, are of the opinion that, if passed, the levy will shore up revenue to fund developmental initiatives in the country.
In this regard, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has stated that government will not make any change to the 1.75% rate of the E-levy when the Bill is reintroduced in Parliament for passage into law.
He said the absence of the levy on the order paper for Tuesday’s sitting is to allow for further consultations on the controversial Bill before it will be submitted to be passed or rejected.
“Is the Executive coming midway through the process to withdraw and amend [the 1.75% E-levy]? I’m not sure that’s what we have been informed [that] the Executive seeks to do. I have said over and over again that the Executive’s Bill, as was brought to and approved by Committee, is now before the House for consideration.
“The intention is to engage and explain why the state needs to raise that money. It’s not the government that wants the money; the state needs those resources to be able to deliver on the very things that we are all asking the state to do”, he told JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker Wilson on Tuesday, January 25.
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