Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has revealed that President Akufo-Addo will assent to the e-levy bill as soon as possible.
Addressing the press on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, Mr Kyei-Mensah Bonsu indicated that “as soon as practicable” the bill will be attended to by the President. He noted that Parliament currently has to do due diligence in ensuring that all the necessary procedures are followed to expedite its passage into law.
“Usually when bills are passed by Parliament, we go through to ensure that the commas [are in their right places], the ‘i’s and ‘t’s are dotted and crossed. I guess we can spend tomorrow; today, because of the match, I’m not sure that the committee can meet. Maybe after the President’s address tomorrow, space will be found for it to be done. So, I guess, by the close of the week, it will be ready for the President’s assent”.Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
The Majority Leader expressed that despite the passage of the e-levy bill, the majority concedes to the fact that government needs to stand with Ghanaians and as such will not “abandon” them. Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained that given the circumstances of the current economic times, both locally and on the international front, it has become imperative to pass the bill.
“… Given what is happening to the economy, the depreciation of the cedi and the international developments which is triggering escalation of prices on the local scene, we need not only to stand with the people of this country but as well to stand with the state to ensure the viability of the republic”.Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
The purpose of the e-levy bill, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu highlighted, is to “broaden the tax base” of the country and to increase revenue mobilization domestically. Following the passage of the e-levy, he explained that what should really be pertinent to discuss among Members of Parliament should be what “we are going to apply the monies on”.
“I’m not too sure that anyone of us in parliament will disagree that where we are as a country, we need to recline and look inwards to see if it will be possible for us to increase revenue streams from within our own household; which is what the e-levy seeks to do”.Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Minority boycotts e-levy passage in Parliament
Meanwhile, a leading member of the National Democratic Congress, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has justified the boycotting of proceedings for the consideration and passage of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) by the Minority. Contained in a Facebook post, he revealed that the boycott by the minority was for a “good reason”, noting that the passage of the bill was illegal.
“There is a good reason for the Minority boycott and they will be explaining it presently. The boycott also renders the purported passage of the e-levy illegal, null and void per the NPP group’s own reasoning for overturning the rejection of the 2022 budget and the recent Supreme Court ruling”.Felix Kwakye Ofosu
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu emphasized that the recent Supreme Court ruling on the required number needed to form decision-making quorum makes the approval of the Levy unconstitutional. He underscored that it is not tenable to leave the government that has “perpetrated this illegality and forced this draconian tax” on Ghanaians and “blame the Minority”.
“138 MPs are needed for a decision but only 137 were present for the purported passage of the E-Levy today”.Felix Kwakye Ofosu