First Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim has called on the governing NPP to suspend the E-levy Bill just like it deferred the proposed amendments to the Party’s Constitution during the Annual Delegates Conference.
The Banda MP who accused the Majority of bad faith, insists that without broader consultations, the NDC will kick against the levy.
“When the NPP sensed the danger that passing the 38 amendments on their Constitution will not inure to the benefit of the party members, they respected them and dropped it,” he explained.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) deferred its constitutional amendments scheduled to take place at the National Delegates Conference in Kumasi during the weekend.
The Party did not conclude on the proposed amendments, which was the main agenda for the annual conference.
The Alexander Afenyo-Markin-led Constitution Review Committee was presented with over 90 proposed amendments, but the 11-member body settled on 38 for consideration of the delegates.
According to JoyNews’ Presidential Correspondent, Elton Brobbey, the Party has decided to refer the shortlisted amendments to the NPP Council of Elders for advice on the way forward.
Key among the 38 is a proposal to elect a presidential candidate two years before a major election. The Party is also contemplating changing its name from New Patriotic Party to National Patriotic Party, among other things.
Mr. Afenyo-Markin, said after consultations, they believe that the proposed amendments should be referred to the Council of Elders, where sponsors of the modifications may be invited to advance their cases.
As a result, speaking with JoyNews’ Kwesi Parker Wilson on Monday, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim said, “so if the generality of Ghanaians who voted to bring you to power are now bringing same sentiments that your party members raised about your constitutional amendment, leading to your dropping the amendment and coming back to consult for the committee to do engagement, but refuse to consider the plights of Ghanaians on the e-levy, then they respected their party more than Ghanaians.”
Since the government made known its decision to introduce the 1.75% E-levy as part of its measures to widen the tax net, the Minority in Parliament have registered their displeasure, insisting that the implementation of the Bill will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
They have explained that their position is to reject the introduction of the levy in its entirety and will not accept a reduction of the rate by government.
In view of this, a showdown is expected in Parliament later today, as the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has stated unequivocally that his side of the House is ready for the Majority.
“E-levy means a lot to the Ghanaians and us. If you want E-levy, we are ready for you on Monday and Tuesday in the full glare of the public. We will debate it and vote and make a decision as appropriate. We debate the policy principle of it. We will tell Ghanaians where we stand. That we do not think you are sensitive enough to proceed further with it,” he said.
The E-levy Bill was to be laid before the Finance Committee in Parliament on Friday, December 17, after Speaker Alban Bagbin referred it to the Committee for further deliberations.
However, government pulled the brakes on the Bill to allow for broader consultation.
Speaking to JoyNews, a member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, John Jinapor, confirmed that the Committee did not receive the Bill.
Again, the Yapei Kusawgu MP disclosed that the Committee chair, Kwaku Kwarteng, did not provide reasons for the non-presentation of the Bill for their consideration.
“We were there waiting for the officials from the Finance Ministry. The Minority side was fully represented, and we were ready to do justice to the Bill. But, unfortunately, the officials from the Ministry couldn’t even attend the meeting, let alone be interrogated on the e-levy,” he told JoyNews’ parliamentary correspondent, Kwesi Parker Wilson.
But the Majority side is still optimistic that the House will approve the Bill by Monday, December 20, 2021, since it forms an integral part of the 2022 budget presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
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