The Majority Leader in Parliament Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has urged all Members of Parliament to make it a priority to partake in the process leading to the passage of the E-levy.
He told the House on Tuesday January 25 that further stakeholder consultation are ongoing on the proposal hence the inability of the Business Committee to programme it during the first week of the first setting of the second session.
The Business Committee, he said hopes to programme the proposal for consideration in the second week after the engagement.
The Suame Lawmaker explained the absence of the E-levy proposal on the Order Paper saying “Mr Speaker, as Honourable members will recall the House was expected to conclude consideration and passing of the electronic transfer levy bill 2021 by the end of the third meeting for the first session.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances however, the House was unable to consider and pass the bill at the end of of the meeting. It was therefore the contemplation of the Business Committee that the Bill will be scheduled for consideration by the House during the First week of the first meeting of the second session.
“However upon consultation with the sponsoring Minister the committee is not unable to programme same for this week after resumption.
“The Honorable Minister of Finance has been undertaking further engagement with stakeholders and sections of the general public with respect of some concerns that have been raised on the bill
“The committee, in all probability, will programme the bill for consideration in the second week of this meeting and honorable members are therefore encouraged to participate fully in the consideration and the process of the passage of the bill.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has told Members of Parliament that the only way out in getting things done in the House is through dialogue and consultation.
He also called for more cooperation and collaboration among lawmakers given the entire nature of the 8th Parliament where the two major parties control 137-137 seats each with an Independent Lawmaker.
“The only way is to get the two sides to consult and to dialogue with each other, to cooperate, to compromise, to collaborate to achieve consensus, this is an imperative imposed on us political leaders by the people of Ghana, we have no choice,” he said.
Mr Bagbin said these while speaking at this year’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Association workshop.
His comments come con the heels of the division in Parliament regarding the E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.
The Minority in Parliament rejected the proposal. Their Leader Haruna Iddrisu said the E-levy policy was 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, 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