Intervene in e-levy deadlock – Pres urged

Professor Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), has urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addoto intervene in the deadlock over the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) policy.

He implored the government to negotiate with the Minority on the issue to make a headway so as to bring finality to the impasse.

“If you look at other countries like the US, whenever Congress, House of Representatives and the Senate get into a situation where they do not want to approve supplementary budgets you will hear they are going to shut down the government.

“In spite of the fact that it is an informal approach nobody sees what the conversation is about, there are times they announce they are going to see the president and the cameras are there, nobody knows what they talk about but they come back and announce they are going to extend for three months,” Prof. Akwetey asserted.

According to him, engagements with the public was good but the time had elapsed because they could have used the break to build consensus, the only way forward was for the president inviting them and prepared for what could be done for the e-levy bill to be passed.

Prof. Akwetey said the situation would launch the country into how to handle a hung parliament to set new standards to avoid brawls and heckling on the floor of the House in future deliberations since the government had intensified public engagement on the e-levy proposal.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader in Parliament urged all Members of Parliament to make it a priority to partake in processes leading to the passage of the e-levy since further stakeholder consultation were ongoing on proposal hence inability of Business Committee to programme it during the first week of the first sitting of the second session.

The Business Committee, he noted hoped to programme the proposal for consideration in the second week after engagement and explained the absence of e-levy proposal on Order Paper saying, “the House was expected to conclude consideration and passing of the electronic transfer levy bill 2021 by the end of the third meeting for 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 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.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance has been undertaking further engagement with stakeholders and sections of the public with respect of some concerns that have been raised on the bill.

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