MOMO

The Member of Parliament for New Juaben South Michael Okyere Baafi has said the passage of the electronic transaction levy bill (e-levy ) is inevitable.

Speaking on Koforidua-based Afeema FM, Mr. Okyere Baafi said the passage of the bill must be compulsory for Members of Parliament.

He, however, said in the spirit of democracy, the Majority caucus opted to consult the minority caucus to reach an agreement however all ended in stalemate.

He, therefore, stated emphatically that the majority caucus will take advantage of its numerical advantage to pass the e-levy at all cost.

“One of the things the NDC members in parliament do not know is that they think now we have hung parliament. They think that they are 137 and we 137 and 1 independent so we have the same numbers, this is a lie. One is more than the other. This is the reason why in parliament there is something call caucus. Party do not work in parliament once you step foot in parliament house, we work with caucuses, we have majority and minority so when you are independent you have to choose and join either minority or majority, and so we have the numbers more than them”.

He continued: “Over the period we decided to engage and consult but still they refuse to accept the passage of the E- levy but we will pass it once the speaker is in parliament and has not traveled. We will use our numbers to pass it. Very simple”.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trades and Industry,  e-levy will increase Ghana’s tax to GDP ratio to at least 16.5% which would enable the country undertake developmental projects without borrowing to increase the debt levels of the country.

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“No member of parliament can boldly say that this policy is not good because when you look at other countries around us, I mean our neighbouring countries, and even in Ghana here, our tax to GDP and the funds we get to run the country when estimated do not tally in terms of the ratio averagely, at least we should earn 16.5 % across board.

“Senegal has a population of 16.7 million but tax ratio to GDP is 16.4%, and a country like south Africa has a population of 59.3 million with a tax to GDP of 26.7% and Ghana having a population of 30.8 has a tax to GDP of 12.2% which is below the average standard which is very bad. In Ghana here with a population of over 30 million only few people pay tax which is 2.4 % which is not good.The development of every country depends on taxation or tax to GDP”.

He said mobilizing local resources for development is non-negotiable.

“We need to raise a lot of revenue internally to run the country so we need not to beg anybody to pay tax, it is incumbent on every member of parliament to rally behind this noble initiative and help pass the E- levy. We need money to run the country, construct roads, build hospitals,  for cyber security to address issues of fraud and hacking, so we the MPs in parliament it is our collective responsibility towards the passing of this e- levy. So this means that we have to mobilize more resources to help the country which necessarily do not have to be in the form of borrowing because when we borrow our credit rating also rises and we become indebted”.

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He attributed the recent downgrade of Ghana’s credit ratings to B- by FITCH, the international credit rating agency to the misunderstanding over e-levy and happenings in Parliament which he says has scared investors that they may be coup in Ghana.

“Investors are also afraid to invest in our country due to the fear that what happened in Guinea or Burkina Faso can happen in Ghana. So all these are indication that we need to mobilize and generate funds domestically to develop the country”.

Government’s attempt to introduce electronic transaction levy(e-Levy) to mobilize over 6 billion cedis yearly has been met with stiff opposition by the Minority in Parliament and majority of Ghanaians.

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