Leader of the Majority group in Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has argued that the passage of the Electronic Transaction levy is in the best interest of Ghana and he is enthused he championed it.
He also explained that the delay in passing the bill for over three months has had a severe toll on the country’s economy where some foreign investments have been withdrawn and amidst the depreciation of the cedi.
“We have done what is good for the country. As a house we should position ourselves to monitor the proceeds,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.
The lawmaker for Suame added that “the effect of this [long process] on the economy has not been good. Over the past three months, there was considerable uncertainty about our revenues, and Ghanaians, investors and Ghana Revenue Authority were worried, which explains why there was a lot of speculation in the system which led to the downgrading of our economy and a downward spiral of the cedi which raised the cost of living.”
Ghana’s legislature on Tuesday, 29th March 2022 passed the Electronic Transaction Levy in the absence of the Minority MPs, who staged a walkout before the Bill was considered at the second reading stage.
They complained that they had been taken by surprise by the unexpected consideration of the levy as it was not listed in Parliament’s business statement for this week
During a debate on the bill, the Minority side argued that the bill would worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
But the Leader of the Majority side said he is convinced that the passage of the E-levy will bring huge relief to Ghanaians.
“To the extent that our colleagues were not rancorous, and no such infractions came, we should be thankful for them that we had a smooth conduct of business in the House, and we are moving the agenda of national development forward,” he said.
Opposers of the levy have warned that it will negatively impact the Fintech space, as well as hurt low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector.
The levy has been the source of tension in Parliament since it was introduced in the 2022 budget. The tensions led to a scuffle between lawmakers in Parliament in December 2021.
The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net and that could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.
There are also concerns that the government may securitise proceeds from the E-levy to raise extra revenue.