Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has announced that the earlier rate of 1.75% that the proposed Electronic Transfer (E-Levy) bill was pegged, has been reduced to 1.5%.
The Finance Minister disclosed this on Tuesday in the chamber of Parliament where he moved the motion for the House to consider the E-levy Bill, hoping to push for its passage.
“The object of this bill is to broaden the tax base of this country by imposing the levy on electronic transfer and enhance government’s drive for revenue mobilization. The levy which is expected to raise GH¢6.9 million in 2022 is a key mechanism that the government will use to ensure Ghanaians contribute their fair share towards the development of the country. In the spirit of cooperation, government has decided to reduce the rate of the levy from 1.75 to 1.5 percent of the transfer. At the consideration stage, I will bring the necessary amendments to reflect the changes”, the Finance Minister moved.
But prior to that, the Minority Leader, Hon Haruna Iddrisu questioned the rationale behind the Majority's attempt to smuggle into the Order Paper the consideration of the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
According to him, the E-Levy did not find expression in the business statement, as it was not enlisted in Parliament’s business statement for this week.
“When the business statement was presented last week, it [E-levy] was not part of the business approved for the house. We have warned time and again and cautioned that we do want to be taken by surprise on a major economic policy bill of government. Parliament cannot be that when a side is convenient with its number, then business can go on. It cannot be. We will not accept that culture. So when they [Majority] did not have the numbers, they weren’t ready. Now that you think that you have some reasonable numbers then you say ‘go to the business of item 27’,” he fumed.
Although the bill was not captured in the business statement of the house for this week, it was enlisted for the second reading and consideration on Tuesday.
Despite the objection, the Finance Minister was allowed to move the motion for the debate on the controversial bill.
The reading of the motion comes at a time the House is filled to capacity by both members of the Minority and Majority.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Alban Bagbin, then called for a 30minute recess.
Members of Parliament returned to the House after the recess to continue with the business of the day which included the possible passage of the E-Levy.
However, moments later, the Minority staged a walkout just as Parliament completed the second reading of the E-Levy Bill.
Despite the walkout, a voice vote was called by the Speaker after Parliament resumed sitting; thus the second reading of the bill was approved. Thereafter, a Majority-sided House then considered some proposed amendments.
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