Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has defended the passage of the E-levy bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
Addressing the press shortly after the passage of the E-levy Bill, the Majority Leader noted that in as much as government stands with Ghanaians who are opposed to the Bill, the need for the government to revive the economy is prudent.
He said given the economic crisis coupled with the Russia-Ukraine developments, the government needs the E-levy to ensure the viability of the economy.
“For us, we recognize that it is important to stand with the people, the people may not get it right all the time, but the state remains the state and the Republic remains the Republic, so we have elected not only to stand with the people but much more importantly, much more enduringly, to stand with the Republic.
“I think that given the circumstance of the time, where we are as a nation and given what is happening to the economy, the depreciation of the cedi and the international developments which is triggering an escalation of prices of the local cedi, we need not only to stand with the people of this country but as well the state to ensure the viability of the Republic,” he told the media.
He stressed that the passage of the Bill at this point should not be a worry to Members of Parliament rather what the revenue generated from the levy would be used for.
The E-levy Bill was approved by the House on Tuesday after it was considered under a certificate of urgency.
This decision was reached after the Consideration Stage was completed by a Majority-sided House.
The Bill was adopted at a reduced rate of 1.5% from the initial 1.75% amid a Minority walkout.
President Akufo-Addo is expected to assent to the Bill.
The tax which has become a subject of debate among Ghanaians is expected to rake in close to ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.
From the onset of today’s proceedings, the Minority had accused the Majority Caucus of smuggling into the Order Paper, the consideration of the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
According to the Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu, E-levy was not listed in Parliament’s business statement for this week.
He questioned why the Majority will pull such a surprise on the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators.
Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor while addressing the House on Tuesday argued that government should rather think about measures to cushion Ghanaians instead of imposing taxes amid the current economic crisis.
“So far, just in one year, Cocoa price has moved up, gold has equally moved up, crude oil has equally moved up, all our major exports, the prices have moved up and yet our net reserves where this money goes to, has dropped from GHC8billion to GHC5billion. Mr. Speaker, what is the true state of the Ghanaian economy today? Our deficit is the worst out of 40 African countries, our debt to GDP is 80.1%…having taken the people of Ghana through this difficulty why then do you want to take the little money they put in their mobile money wallet,” he asked.
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