Consultation on E-levy to enter weekend, process has been positive so far – Afenyo-Markin

Alexander Afenyo Markin Efutu MP1

Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin, has revealed that engagements with the Minority on the E-levy have been inconclusive.null

Although he said the signs are positive, the engagements would continue into the weekend.

The Lawmaker for Effutu told journalists in Parliament on Friday, January 28 that they do not want the fisticuffs that occurred in the House last year to be repeated hence the engagements.

“So far it has been positive. Suffice to say that it has not been conclusive. We believe that throughout the weekend we would further gest into this. We don’t want what happened in December to repeat itself and we believe that this E-levy is important legislation that will help the government get the needed revenue,” he said.

His colleagues in the Minority have however asked them to wait for Speaker Alban Bagbin to return from his trip outside of the jurisdiction before they re-lay the E-Levy in Parliament.

Deputy Minority leader, James Klutse Avedzi said the Minority does not want any of the deputies to preside over the House when the levy is relayed in order to avert the brawls that occurred in the house last year.

“The speaker travels this weekend and will not be available next week, I think our advice to the Majority side is that we should wait until the speaker comes back.null

“We want the speaker to preside then we will vote on the matter and once that is done, the end result will be a decision of the House whether the motion would be lost or completely or would be carried, that is something that would be done.

“But we want the speaker to be there we don’t want any of the deputies to sit so that what happened in 2021 should repeat itself.”

The much-anticipated consideration of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, popularly known as e-levy, has been postponed to the next sitting of Parliament.

Despite attempts by the Majority Caucus to get the Bill read for the second and third times, the House took a decision to adjourn sitting to Tuesday, February 1.

The Speaker, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, who had been in the precincts of Parliament since morning, had to leave around 5:00 pm because there were no signs members were ready to consider passage of the Bill.

Though the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had announced the passage of the Bill on Friday even if it went deep into the night, it appears his opposite number was not in favour of it.null

Our Parliamentary Correspondent, Komla Klutse, reported of hot exchanges between Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency, and the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, who is also MP for Asawase Constituency.

Earlier, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who had announced the controversial policy in his budget statement and financial policy on behalf of the government on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, had met the Minority to talk members of that caucus into getting the Bill passed.

His proposal to reduce the tax from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent was rejected, still.

The debate on the Bill is expected to attract equal strength as the Speaker is said to be on his way out of the country again for his periodic medical review in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).