Attitude of Minority is the only reason E-levy hasn’t gone through – NPP MP

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Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer, has said the only reason the E-levy policy proposal in the 2022 budget statement ahs not gone through is as a result of the attitude of the Minority in Parliament.

He told Roland Walker on the News 360 on TV3 Monday January 24, “the only reason we have not been able to get this through is as a result of the attitude of our friends from the other side.

The Minority has rejected the E-levy proposal.

The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the E-levy policy is a disincentive to the growth of digital economy.

To that end, he said, the Minority would not support it.

Speaking at a post budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, 2021 he said “Mr Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy  as some have quite named it.

“Mr Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of digital economy in our country . We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment  and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support government  with the introduction of that particular e-levy . We are unable to build national consensus  on that particular matter.”

Member of Parliament for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor said the opposition lawmakers had not been engaged on the proposal by the Majority on the proposal.

Mr Jinapor told Tv3’s William Evans Nkum on the sidelines of a townhall meeting held by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Kumasi on Monday that “They haven’t engaged us, you can ask them, who have they engaged?

“Have they engaged the leader, have they engaged the chief whip? Have they engaged the party? You cannot build consensus alone, you build consensus with people. I can confirm the Majority side has not engaged members of the Minority.”

But Mr Egyapa Mercer who is also a Deputy Minister of Energy said “I do not know what the MP for Yapei Kusawgu means when he says that there has been no engagement,. You recall that before Parliament went on break there were attempts at trying to build consensus between the two blocks.

“Following the break in Parliament every Member of Parliament especially those in the Minority left for their constituencies and so how anybody expects that in that period when people were on break from parliamentary session some engagements were going to take place that baffles me because it is only when you are in session, when you are in Accra that the engagement can take place.

“It is my understanding that the Ministry of Finance intends to use this week to continue the engagement that has started with civil society organizations and the Minority so that we can move for consideration next week.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta has said while answering a question at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday January 19 on what the government’s Plan B is for the economy and revenue generation, that the plan is for the government to remain focused and get the E-levy proposal through to ensure the domestic revenue mobilisation is strong.

He told the pressmen that there cannot be absolute agreement on government’s policies.

“There is no way we can have absolute agreement.

“We are going up by 40 per cent with regards to revenue mobilization and then expenditure is also going up by 25 per cent. We have always been very good about being able to to cut down on expenditure appropriately when we don’t meet our target.

“With this new dawn of GRA exceeding targets, we expect that to continue. With the new national ID system we are now 15.5 million people are going to be on their books.

“That is what gives me the excitement into the future because when I read the Fitch Report, you are doubting that we can make our revenues , I am confident that we can. They are worried that we cant come to the international market , we are saying its fine, we have our SDRs that will suffice for the first half and then we will figure out another method of getting the

“So plan B is to stay focused and ensure that we get our E-levy through , ensure that our domestic revenue mobilization is string and that be, we do not need to go the market.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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