The Adansi Asokwa MP is advocating for the temporal suspension of the reintroduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy Bill, otherwise known as E-levy in Parliament by the Finance Ministry following news of Speaker Alban Bagbin’s medical review in Dubai.
According to Kobina Tahir (KT) Hammond, once the Speaker is absent from Parliament or he is not presiding over the E-levy debate and subsequent voting, the Majority group would not get enough numbers to push the bill through.
He indicated that, this will prevent further fisticuffs in the chamber since both sides of the House have 137 members each, and the only way to ensure there is order in the chamber is to reintroduce the E-levy Bill only when Speaker Bagbin is presiding.
“If the speaker is not sitting and we have 137 and 137, how are we going to get the numbers? Are we going to fight again? We are going to get the battle of E-levy settled squarely and nicely. We (NPP) have our 138, Bagbin is sitting, there is no room for argument,” KT Hammond told Joy News on Thursday, January 27.
He, therefore, urged his colleague MPs to always state their position whether for or against the bill without physically attacking each other in the chamber.
“Make your point as strongly as you can on the floor, in the end, let us pass it and suffer the political consequences if the people of Ghana believe that it was a wrong decision taken by the government. It shouldn’t be that difficult,” Hammond stressed.
About the E-levy
On November 17, 2021, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the introduction of a 1.75% tax on all electronic transactions during the 2022 budget presentation before parliament.
According to him, this new directive forms part of strategies to widen the country’s tax net.
He added that the 1.75% tax is also to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable in the country.
The E-levy since its announcement by the Finance Minister has received public backlash from some Ghanaians especially Members of Parliament from the Minority Caucus.
At a recent press conference, the Minister disclosed a number of modifications to the Bill and announced that the government continued to engage stakeholders on the bill ahead of resubmission before MPs.