Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson Nelson Dafeamekpor, has revealed that the implementation of the e-levy has been deferred by the executive pending its determination by the Supreme Court over an injuction application filed by the minority.
Mr Dafeamekpor indicated that although it has been assented to by the President and made a law, its implementation cannot be carried out contrary to opinions by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, which is claiming otherwise. He explained that the executive itself has suspended the implementation of the law and deferred it to May 4.
“What we are saying is that, the President has assented to the law, it’s become a law but its implementation has been deferred by the executive itself. To that extent, we are asking the judiciary to defer the implementation further until the matter before it, in respect of the constitutionality of the procedures leading to its passage into law, is determined.”Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor
Justifying his sentiments, Mr Dafeamekpor recounted that despite the fact that the Right to Information Act was passed into law by parliament, the executive decided to defer the implementation using a provision in the law by parliament. He noted that it took the executive an entire year to implement the law.
“So, it is not correct that as soon as a law is passed by parliament, its implementation cannot be suspended by the executive or by the judiciary.”Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor
Conceding to the fact that the e-levy bill has been technically passed into law, Mr Dafeamekpor insisted that the “implementation of the law is what makes it law”. As such, when the law is suspended, it is no law.
“For instance, if today I engage in electronic transfer, I am not taxed, pursuant to the terms and the tenure of the law. I was rather hoping that the Majority Leader wouldn’t have commented on the matter but would have said that we would leave that in the hands of the Supreme Court to determine on the 4th of May”.Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor
The South Dayi legislator’s comments followed Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu’s, assertion that the e-levy bill is being implemented despite injunction application by the minority.
Majority contends E-levy is already being implemented
Speaking at a press conference with the Parliamentary press corps today, April 22, 2022, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, indicated that the fact that necessary structures are being put in place does not mean the bill is not in operation. He explained that it is being implemented so long as the Finance Minister has stated that the actual collection starts from May 1.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, intimated that one can be prosecuted for “falling foul” of the law since the bill has been assented to by the President.
“They say they want to stop the implementation but the bill is already being implemented, I don’t know what they mean by that. Upon the assent of the President, the bill, if Parliament has not postponed the operation, immediately after the assent it comes into operation”.Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
The Majority Leader, touching on the injunction application by the minority opined that their action is an exercise in futility. He intimated that minority failed to exhaust the processes and procedures in parliament to resolve disagreements over the approval of the bill.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu highlighted that parliament is mandated to put “government on its toes” particularly through its committee. In essence, if something untoward happens, a committee or an individual or the caucus could raise the matter.
“… If you are not satisfied and you want to move further upstairs, yes. But at the say so of an individual that let us go to court, when the matter had not been dealt with in Parliament, it is a very dangerous precedent in this country.”Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
The Majority leader emphasized that the business of the house requires that matters of such nature are mooted through parliament using the structures to challenge decisions that are taken.