Finance committee approves E-Levy by majority decision

The Finance Committee by a majority decision approved the much-talked about E-Levy and it will now be presented to the House for final vote

The Finance Committee of Parliament has resolved to consider the electronic levy bill under a certificate of urgency to ensure that the House promptly takes a decision on its passage.

The decision to trigger the certificate of urgency is as a result of the minority’s insistence that the bill must not be taken to the plenary until further consultations are done.

The call for a certificate of urgency was submitted to a vote at the committee level and had the majority affirming it by 13 to 12 votes.

This means that the House must still take a decision on the bill as soon as practicable despite the minority’s opposition.

Speaking to the press on Monday (20 December) in Parliament, the minority spokesperson on finance Cassiel Ato Forson said the stance of the minority is to vote against the bill when presented to the House.

“I’ve not seen a tax policy of this kind before and do not believe that this should be allowed to stand. I want to say that we in the minority will not stop there, we’ll take the fight to the plenary, we’ll fight for the ordinary Ghanaian to ensure that the E-Levy dies today.

“They can defeat us at the committee but I strongly believe that when we come to the floor [of parliament], all the 137 NDC MPs will stand firm with the ordinary Ghanaian ensuring that the E-Levy doesn’t see the light of day,” he stated.

The ranking member on the mines and energy committee of parliament John Jinapor also said the minority is also being critical of other clauses in the bill relating to financial transactions such as individual bank transfers.

“We have not taken a final decision on that [E-Levy], that’s the bone of contention now. And that’s specific to say that all individuals, your money in your bank account, if you transfer it through any individual, they [the government] want to tax you 1.75%. But even more importantly, the minister [of finance] did indicate to all of you that he’s going to engage us further when he had a press conference. At the meeting we asked the minister whether he was ready to reduce this obnoxious tax but he said he was not ready to reduce it,” he added.

Nicholas Brown

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