E-levy: I’m not sure anyone will disagree we need to look inward for revenue – Majority Leader

Majority Leader in Parliament

The Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said that the just-approved E-levy seeks to enable the government raise revenue from within to develop the country.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday March 29 after the approval of the E-levy, he said “The purpose of this bill that we have gone through is really to broaden the tax base of our country and to increase revenue mobilization domestically.

“I am not too sure that anyone of us in Parliament, Minority or Majority, will disagree that where we are as a country, we need to look inwards to see if it will be possible for us to increase revenue streams from within our own household, which is what the E-levy seeks to do.

“The matters that should really confront us as members of Parliament is what we are going to apply the monies on. The bill provides that we are going to apply it to the development of physical infrastructure, that is number one.”

Meanwhile, the Minority in Parliament has insisted that there is no E-levy despite the approval by a one-sided House on Tuesday March 29.

The Minroty Leader Haruna Iddrisu described the approval as a charade because in their view, the Majority did not have the right numbers to pass it.

“This is a charade,” he said at a press conference in Parliament, adding that “there is no E-levy.”

“The majority of less than 137 conducting businesses only proceeded on illegal and unconstitutional business. Parliament did not have the numbers to take any decision that should binding Parliament and Ghanaians.”

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The E-levy was passed by Parliament on Tuesday March 29 after the third reading in the House. The Minority staged a walkout during the second reading on the E-levy. They walked out after Mr Iddrisu said the NDC MPs remain united in opposing the policy.

Contributing to the E-levy debate on the floor of the House, he described the policy proposal as punitive which if approved will further increase the “the high cost of doing business in the country.”

“E-levy is the nuisance of nuisance tax,” he said, adding that “businesses are suffering under your watch. We are united that we will not support E-levy, we will not vote for E-levy.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Tuesday, March 29 moved a motion for the passage of the E-levy in Parliament.

This was after he presented a statement on the E-levy in the House.

“I, therefore, move the motion” for the passage of the E-levy, he said.

Obuasi West MP Kwaku Kwarteng seconded the motion.

However, just before he finished making his statement Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu rose and said they could not deliberate on it because they did have access to the report. His position was supported by Tamale Central lawmaker Murtala Mohammed.

Ruling on the matter, Speaker Alban Bagbin said, “The copies of the report are being distributed now, I don’t think it is proper for us to suspend sitting, I will give you time to read the report to make a meaningful contribution.”

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana