Minority Spokesperson on Finance Committee, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson

The Member of Parliament for the Ajumako Enyan Esiam Constituency, Casiel Ato Forson has described the ruling New Patriotic Party as undemocratic.

He made this statement with reference to the government’s decision to push forward the e-levy, despite several calls, especially from the Minority, for it to be withdrawn.

In furtherance of its cause, the Majority Caucus on the Finance Committee of Parliament, on Monday, with the support of the Chairman, voted in favour of the levy. The Finance Committee thus agreed to present the E-Levy bill before the House for further deliberations.

Addressing the media on Monday, December 20, 2021, the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson said government has turned a deaf ear to the plights of Ghanaians concerning the e-levy, which according to him, most Ghanaians are not in support of.

Dr. Ato Forson noted that, “we are sad. We are sad not only because we lost, but we felt that the NPP does not believe in democracy and if they are determined to do something, they want to push it regardless of the cost.

We the Minority believe that our power is with the people and we are the representation of the people and for any reason, if you’re going through legislation, there’s the need for you to invite public memoranda and most important, with a Bill of this nature, that most people are complaining about, there’s the need to listen to people. But the NPP Majority decided not to listen to us,” he said.

Dr. Forson stated that several stakeholders including the E-Commerce Association of Ghana, the Telecommunications Chamber among others had requested to present memoranda against the Bill.

According to him, some of the groups had even suggested alternatives to the government for the generation of revenue.

However, these suggestions have fallen on deaf ears as far as the Majority caucus on the Finance Committee, is concerned.

“After a call for division from their side, the 12 NDC members on the Committee voted against the Bill while the 12 NPP members, excluding the Chairman of the Committee, voted for the Bill,” he said.

The Chairman, however, later voted since there was a tie and he voted in favour of the bill. This gave the Majority an upper hand.

He, however, assured that the Minority will do everything (positive) within its power to ensure that the “e-levy does not see the light of day.”

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