Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin has revealed a consensus was reached by both the Majority and Minority Caucus in parliament over the introduction of the proposed electronic transaction levy.
His comments come after Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu on Thursday December 2, said his side will readily accept a reduction of the proposed e-levy to 1% from 1.75%.
“A week ago, we said no, we won’t accept e-levy but having listened to officials in government, including the Minister of Finance, I am convinced to accept a departure from my original no to accepting a one percent e-levy,” the Minority Leader said.
Reacting to the recent brouhaha in Parliament over the 2022 budget and the proposed e-levy, Afenyo Markin speaking on Saturday on the News File segment on Joy News said, “We [Majority] know the position of the [Minority] which is one percent for the e-levy while government wants 1.75 percent and so I am surprised suddenly they want to single out Haruna Iddrisu’s position on the levy so if they have changed their position, I will be surprised,” he stressed said.
He continued, “…We need to let Ghanaians know that on the e-levy, the National Democratic Congress agrees with the New Patriotic Party and we share that political risk together and so they should not back track and suddenly create the impression the NPP is alone with the introduction of the e-levy. The NDC as a political party has stated that the e-levy is a ‘necessary evil’ but where we disagree on is the percentages.”
Afenyo Markin however re-affirmed government's commitment to look into concerns surrounding the proposed e-levy and make a final determination on it.
Meanwhile, some economists have called for a complete scrapping of the proposed electronic transactions levy while others have called for modification of the rate and further stakeholder consultations
Renowned economist, Kwame Pianim rather believes the e-levy “is anti-technology progress and may undermine the significant progress being achieved in financial inclusion for the unbanked.”
He, therefore, suggested to the Finance Ministry to arrange with the Bank of Ghana to instead collect the interest on mobile money wallets that do not benefit the average MoMo users in order to rake in revenue for government.
“Government should take a step back from the brink, listen creatively to the pain of our people and focus on providing a caring administration and preserving national cohesion and keeping the economy on an even keel in these stormy weathers!” Pianim pointed.
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