Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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E-Levy passed despite Minority boycott of parliament

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After much debate and differences, the Electronic Transactions Bill (E-Levy) has been approved by a Majority-sided parliament today after the Minority walked out amid its reading.

The Minority had protested that the sudden discussion of the tax had caught them off guard. The E-levy was not mentioned in this week’s business statement from Parliament.

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After discussing the Bill, the Minority MPs walked out of Parliament before the second reading.

Because none of the Minority MPs was present to move the amendments in their names, all of the planned changes were withdrawn.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, expressed astonishment at the departure by the Minority but stated that it would not disrupt the proceedings.

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The levy, which was reduced from 1.75 per cent to 1.5 per cent today, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, will be a tax on electronic transactions, including mobile money transfers.

The fee will be applied to electronic transactions totalling more than GH100 each day.

Critics of the idea have warned that the new tax will harm the Fintech industry, as well as low-income persons and others who are not part of the official banking system.

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Since its introduction in the 2022 budget, the levy has been a cause of contention in Parliament. Tensions took a turn toward violence in December 2021, when MPs clashed in Parliament.

The government, on the other hand, claims that the charge would broaden the tax base, resulting in an additional GH6.9 billion in revenue in 2022. There are also fears that the government would securitize e-levy profits to generate more money.

It is rather interesting to also add that this bill was passed on the President’s birthday.

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