Bawumia fails to comment on E-levy at NPP conference

The Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Sunday December 19 failed to touch on the controversial E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget during the New Patriotic Party’s delegate conference in Kumasi in spite of calls made to him to comment on the proposal.

He gave a tall list of achievements of the government and further explained how the administration is thinking outside of the box to transform the economy.

He said a number of initiatives have been introduced by the government to transform the economy through digitalization.

“Ours is a government that is thinking outside the box to transform the country,” he said.

He added “For the first time in our hoistory Ghana has drone for medical delivery, Ghana is implementing one district one hospital under agenda 111

“By end of our second we would built more hospitals that any government. Our government is building one district one factory.

“For the first time in our history students can apply students loan without a guarantor.”

Dr Bawumia further urged members and supporters of the NPP to remain united and rally behind the government.

During the event, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu indicated that the E-levy, if approved, is going to ensure that government generates enough revenue for developmental projects.

It is recalled that the Chief Executive Officer of the African Energy Consortium, Kwame Jantuah questioned the loud silence of Dr Bawumia over the e-levy proposal.

Mr Jantuah believed that since the e-levy hinged on digitalisation, it would be prudent to hear from the Vice President who is championing the digitalisation agenda.

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Mr Jantuah was speaking on the Key Points on TV3/3FM Saturday December 11 with host Dzifa Bampoh.

“Why is the Vice president silent,” he quizzed.

He further noted that whether or not the e-levy proposal is accepted, the government still wins.

“Whether they put e-levy on it or they don’t, government wins. So, they put a levy on MoMo, Ghanaians decide we are not going to do MoMo. Two things, they might either keep their money under their bed or they will revert to the banks. If they revert to the banks, who borrows from the banks? Who do the banks want or likely to loan money to?

“Is it the private sector or government? It is government. So, if people put their money back to the banks, government goes to the banks, loan moneys from the banks because the banks know that it is guaranteed that government will pay, and what does that do to the private sector as the engine of growth? It collapses because these same banks don’t give private sector the money. so either way government wins.

“But I feel that if it so happened that initially before they start to think about e-levy they had consultations with civil society , stakeholders and all maybe it would have been more acceptable than it is now.”

The introduction of the levy met resistance from the opposition lawmakers in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said that his side in Parliament would not support the policy proposal because it serves as a disincentive for the growth of digital economy.

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Speaking at a post-budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20, 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.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana