In the eyes of the Ghanaian populace, the opposition National Democratic Congress has, to a certain degree, proved its stance on government’s plan to impose a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions.
While the opposition party continues to hold its position against the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) through its minority side in parliament, there appears to be some level of doubt about the genuineness of their opposition and the motives backing same.
Officials of the current government on various occasions have accused the NDC of fighting the E-Levy – now a bill before parliament, with the underlying motive of promoting the party’s fortunes ahead of the 2024 general elections.
The opposition party have also been accused by the ruling New Patriotic Party of resisting the passage of the bill in order to stall the current government in the discharge of its duties.
With the NDC insisting against the E-Levy citing various reasons including the burden of economic hardship currently being suffered by Ghanaians, an all-important question has emanated as a litmus test to the genuineness of the party’s stance.
The question of whether the NDC will see to a scrapping of a passed E-Levy if elected into power in 2024 when Ghana goes to the polls is somehow gradually gaining traction in the conversation around the bill with little to very little to no answer provided by the party.
While the party has been silent on this specific question, the closest the public has come to getting an answer is when the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia spoke on the Friday, January 28, 2022, edition of Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia morning show hosted by Kwame Nkruamah Tikese.
“If parliament votes on the E-Levy and it is passed into law, and it is sustained for years, will the NDC see to its continuous implementation or it will be cancelled, or reduced alternatively?” the host questioned.
Though an opportunity for the secretary of the opposition party to fully convince their critics into believing its position on the E-Levy, Mr Asiedu Nketia was not explicit in his response, except to reemphasize that the party does not support the tax policy?
“We have not even gotten to that point. We are saying the thing (E-Levy) is not good, so if it comes and we gain power how does it come again? For us we are asking them to stop disturbing us with it. They should go and seek its approval from the NPP MPs
“They are the majority and there is a saying that ‘majority carries the vote,’ so how is the minority being blamed for their failure to pass the bill? We are siding with Ghanaians who are against the bill. And so we are saying our 137 MPs cannot vote to approve it. If your 138 MPs want it let them vote to approve it,” he stated.
There is still a raging contention between the majority and minority side of parliament over the E-Levy bill.
The minority, having resolved to fully oppose the bill has led to a stall in government getting parliament’s approval for the bill which it failed to include in the 2022 budget.
The difference of one in the number of majority MPs as against minority’s number has made it difficult for the government to have the bill passed easily while discussions on the bill in the chamber of parliament has on various occasions led to altercations between the majority and minority.
With the bill set to be resubmitted to the house next week, the government is hoping to have a break through what it says is a consensus-building exercise it is engaging in with the minority.
Meanwhile, the minority on the other hand is insisting it is adamant in changing its position.
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