Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, has urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, to take advantage of Parliament’s break to engage the leadership of the National Democratic Congress on ways they can streamline funding sources for government.
Haruna Iddrisu noted during an interaction with the media on Tuesday that it is imperative that the government reaches out to the opposition party and other stakeholders to ensure that consensus is built on the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
The Tamale South MP said that the President and his Finance Minister have no clear idea what they seek to get from the E-levy and are just bandying figures about.
He explained that if the government was aware of what it was doing, it would not have engaged the telecommunication companies to reduce the charges on mobile money transactions.
The Minority Leader said that the heart of the issue is the double deductions and taxations Ghanaians will suffer and not a reduction of the deductions.
“What happened in Parliament is an indication to the president that he must consult more with the leadership of the opposition party and other stakeholders. What has happened is to allow for deeper consultations on the way forward on the nature of what needs to be done to raise revenue for government. We have all resolved that we will not support the E-levy in its current form or nature.
“President Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Finance do not even understand what they are doing. Ghanaians must be told that the E-levy is going to be charged 1.75% not 1%. Currently Vodafone doesn’t charge any percentage so if you say MTN 0.25, what about the other telcos. Ghanaians must be made aware of this. President Akufo-Addo does not understand these things,” he told the press.
Parliament has been forced to suspend sitting indefinitely after violence broke in the house on Monday, December 20, 2020.
b>How it happened
The fight broke after Joe Wise assumed the role of speakership. Joe Wise took over the role of Speakership from and moderated debate on the controversial Electronic Transaction levy.
Everything was going well until a division had to be called on whether the E-levy bill should be admitted under a certificate of urgency.
With both sides locked on 137-137 following Joe Wise’s ascension unto the throne of speakership, confidence was rife in the camp of the minority that they were going to have their way.
The bombshell was however dropped when Joe Wise announced that he will take part in the head count.
The arrangement was that, he was going to vacate his position for the Second Deputy once he is counted.
The Minority MPs protested briefly before allowing the process to continue but just when the Second Deputy Speaker was about to take over from Joe Wise, all hell broke loose.
MPs from both sides engaged in fisticuffs with some blows, slaps and kicks from both sides. Calm restored and sitting was adjourned to Tuesday, December 21, 2021.
On Tuesday, the house reconvened and sitting was adjourned indefinitely.