Majority struggling to get numbers for E-Levy as MPs refuse to be counted – Sylvester Mensah

SLY MENSAH New0218 Leading Member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Sylvester Mensah

Thu, 27 Jan 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Government wants 1.75% levy imposed on electronic transactions

Minority oppose E-Levy

Government to hold town hall meetings on E-Levy

A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Sylvester Mensah, has stated that government is deliberately delaying in resubmitting the controversial Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) bill to parliament.

Being one of the important businesses in parliament before the Christmas break, it was expected that the resubmission of the E-Levy bill which has attracted fierce resistance from the majority side of parliament will be the first thing the house would address when it reconvened on Tuesday.

However, the consideration of the bill which seeks to place a 1.75 levy on all electronic transactions has been shelved to a week after the recommencement of parliament business.

According to Sylvester Mensah, the delay in the resubmission of the bill is due to government’s failure in mobilizing numbers to vote in favour of the bill in parliament.

In a Twitter post sighted by GhanaWeb, the former Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme notes that the delay by the majority side in presenting the government’s bill to parliament is because of futile efforts in getting members of parliament to support the bill, even in the block of the majority.

“NPP's Parliamentary majority group is again delaying the re-introduction of the E-levy bill/motion in the house because they don't have the numbers. They've been struggling to get all 138 MPs without success,” he wrote.

Mr Mensah alleged that some majority MPs have refused to support the bill by not presenting themselves for voting, adding that the Speaker of Parliament has been kept in wait for the submission of the controversial bill.

“Some members have refused to be whipped in line to present themselves to be counted. We're watching the diversionary consultations and town hall meetings intended to hide the NPP's internal frustrations. Meanwhile, the Rt Hon Speaker has also been waiting,” he said.

According to government, the E-Levy as a revenue mobilization source is to help government access the needed funding to expedite development across the country.

However, the bill has courted negative response from the majority side of parliament and a significant portion of the Ghanaian population.

The government in its bid to have a public acceptance of the bill has scheduled a series of town hall meetings across the country.

According to the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, the townhall meeting will help government sensitize and educate the citizenry about the importance and need for the E-Levy.

Debate on the E-Levy has led to multiple instances of altercations between the majority and minority side of parliament which has on some occasions escalated into a full-blown brawl.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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