E-Levy Pops Up In Parliament After A Long Absence As MPs Set To Debate On Bill This Week

E-Levy Pops Up In Parliament After A Long Absence As MPs Set To Debate On Bill This Week

  • The Electronic Transfer Levy has arrived in Parliament after a long absence amid opposition
  • MPs are debating the bill and would subsequently vote to reject or approve the controversial tax proposal
  • Approval of the bill has been held up because the Majority has not been able to marshal their numbers to push it through

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The Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) Bill has popped up in Parliament today after weeks of absence to be debated upon then approved or rejected by MPs.

The E-Levy Bill has been listed on the order paper of Parliament today, March 29, 2022, and parliamentarians are currently debating the controversial tax proposal.

E-Levy in parliament
Majority Leader (L) will lead his side to fight opposition on the bill by the Minority led by Haruna Iddrisu (R). Source: Instagram/@fillaboyzdotcom
Source: Instagram

The bill was taken off Parliament at the request of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, for more comprehensive stakeholder engagements before it was re-introduced.

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After the debate, which is expected to be heated, MPs will either approve or reject the bill.

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The bill remains highly controversial because there is widespread opposition to its aim of charging a tax of 1.5% on some mobile money and electronic transactions.

Critics, which include economists and academics, have said the bill will not achieve much and would intensify the hardships in the economy.

Government says the tax will yield almost GHS7 billion a year. Many say even this projected figure is unrealistic and unachievable.

The Minority group in Parliament is highly opposed to the bill, but there has been dissent even within the Majority, which usually supports governing policies.

The bill had divided Parliament to the extent that in December 2021, parliamentarians were captured on video exchanging blows when First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, voting on the bill while presiding as Speaker.

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The initial 1.75% that was later reduced to 1.5% tax for weeks held up the passage of the 2022 budget amid fierce opposition.

Minority’s Strong Opposition To E-Levy Bad For Investor Confidence – Ofori-Atta Laments

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has cautioned against the strong opposition by the Minority Members in Parliament on the E-Levy, warning that it is bad for investor confidence in the economy.

At a press briefing on Thursday, March 24, 2022, to outline the measures taken by the government to mitigate the current economic challenges, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Minority’s opposition was also affecting the government’s efforts to implement critical programmes.

The passage of the controversial E-Levy remains a major sticky point in Parliament as the Minority and Majority take a hardline on the tax proposal.

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