E-levy: It’s your right to go to court but I believe there was quorum – Ofori-Atta tells Minority

The Finance Minister Mr Ken Ofori Atta has said the Minority in Parliament has every right to go to court following the approval of the E-levy.

However, he said, he believes Parliament had the required number in the House to approve the policy.

Speaking to TV3’s Roland Walker in Parliament after the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address on Wednesday March 30, Mr Ofori Atta said “if somebody has issue they go to court, I don’t think there is anything dramatic about it. I think we had the quorum.”

Regarding when deduction of the e-levy will start, he said “We had some meetings with Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and they have said, right at the beginning of May they should be able to put their system together.”

The Minority in Parliament is heading to the Supreme Court over the approval of the E-levy by a one-sided Parliament.

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The Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu described the approval as illegal and unconstitutional 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,” he added.

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. 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.”

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“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.”

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By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana


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