Finance C’ttee approves e-levy bill for consideration despite minority’s resistance

The Finance Committee of Parliament has approved the controversial E-levy bill for consideration by the House.

This was done despite the resistance of the minority caucus.

A meeting of the committee on Monday, December 20, 2021, to consider the bill ended in a number of rounds of voting to decide on the approval of the bill.

Citi News gathers that the committee voted first on whether the bill can be submitted under a certificate of urgency, and secondly on whether the committee approves the bill

In both instances, there was a tie between the minority and the majority sides, with the Chairman of the Committee using his prerogative to veto the bill’s approval.

The Minority in Parliament has, however, resolved to press on with its opposition to the passage of the electronic transaction levy when it gets to the plenary.

According to the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, the minority will not open itself up for dialogue anymore but will outrightly reject the bill.

Dr Cassiel Ato Forson told journalists that the Minority side insisted that the government meet with the various stakeholders who have complained about the levy including the Telecommunication Chamber, to listen to their concerns, but the majority side hesitated.

“[We believed that] at the minimum, meet with them and listen to them. The NPP Majority in parliament said they do not believe that… You can see clearly a government that is not ready to listen.

“A government that is determined to push the agenda regardless of its impact on the people of Ghana. The Chairman decided to exercise his right under the casting vote and voting in favour for us to consider the e-levy under a certificate of urgency, without understanding the need for us to listen clearly to the people that have issued press releases and others that have submitted memoranda to parliament.

“We are sad, not only because we lost, but we felt that the NPP does not believe in democracy and if they are determined to do something, they want to push regardless of the cost,” he said.

He added that the Minority side will insist on a number of amendments that will make sure that the bill is not passed as expected by the majority side.

“We signalled that we do not believe that Mobile Money services should be taxed. The NPP again did not listen, we voted again, and they won using the same approach… The Chairman decided to exercise his right. Our position is simple, we will not compromise, we will not accept dialogue, we are going in with the simple position that we are going to vote against it. We will introduce a number of amendments to make sure that this tax does not see the light of day.”

Source: -Citi news

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