Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, Tuesday moved the motion for debate on the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy) in Parliament.
The E-levy has been objected to by the Minority since its introduction by the Government in the 2022 Budget.
The Minority in Parliament still objected to the motion on Tuesday because according to them it was not captured in the business of the week.
Me Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, reiterated the Minority’s stance on the E-levy with a call on the government that, “Don’t tax momo.”
“When the business statement was presented last week, E-levy was not part of the business approved for the house. We have warned time and again and cautioned that we do not want to be taken by surprise by a major economic policy of the Government. Parliament cannot be that when a side is convenient with its number, then the business can go on. It cannot be. We will not accept that culture.
So when Majority did not have the numbers, they weren’t ready. Now, that they have the numbers, then you say we should do business,” Mr Iddrisu said.
Despite the objection, the Finance Minister was permitted to move the motion in Parliament.
Although the bill was not captured in the business statement of the house for this week, it was enlisted for the second reading and consideration on Tuesday.
This comes at a time the house is filled by both members of the Minority and Majority.
“The object of this bill is to broaden the tax base of this country by imposing the levy on electronic transfer and enhance the government’s drive for revenue mobilization. The levy which is expected to raise GH¢6.9 million in 2022 is a key mechanism that the government will use to ensure Ghanaians contribute their fair share towards the development of the country. In the spirit of cooperation, the government has decided to reduce the rate of the levy from 1.75 to 1.5 per cent of the transfer. At the consideration stage, I will bring the necessary amendments to reflect the changes.” Mr Ofori-Atta moved.
The E-levy was introduced by the government in the 2022 Budget on basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions.
The rate would apply to electronic transactions that are more than GHS 100 daily. This is different from the 1 per cent telcos charge on transactions.
The levy had sparked controversy because of its impact on mobile money transactions and unbanked poor Ghanaians who rely on it.