Monday, September 25, 2023

Parliament reconvenes today under uncertainties on E-levy bill

Parliament will meet again today, Tuesday, amid uncertainty about the contentious e-levy.

The government has chosen to offer an altered levy rate of 1.5 percent, down from 1.75 percent.

Given the Speaker’s reported departure from the jurisdiction, it’s uncertain if the subject would be considered, given recent tensions on the House floor caused by the Speaker’s absence.

James Klutse Avedzi, the Deputy Minority Leader, is encouraging the majority caucus to wait until the speaker returns before introducing the E-levy bill.

According to him, doing so will help avoid the turmoil and uncertainty that erupted in the House before the holiday break.

“The Speaker will not be accessible if he travels this weekend. Our recommendation to the majority side is to wait until the speaker returns. We shall vote on the topic when the speaker takes the floor. After that, the final decision will be made by the house,” he stated.

Last Friday, Parliament was adjourned for more than seven hours because the majority caucus was alleged to be having separate talks on the E-levy bill.

The contentious electronic transaction levy was supposed to be brought before the house that night, according to Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, but that did not happen.

The Minority’s leadership opposed the government’s revised proposal to cut the tax rate from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent.

The decision to factor in a concession from the Telcos to cut their 1% fee by 0.25 percent guided the rate reduction.

In the absence of Speaker Alban Bagbin, it is uncertain if the bill will be presented to the House for deliberation.

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