Parliament Finally Passes 1.5% E-Levy Amid Minority Walkout

Parliament has passed the Electronic Transfer Levy in the absence of the Minority MPs, who had walked out before the Bill was considered at the second reading stage.

The Minority had complained that it had been taken by surprise by the unexpected consideration of the levy.

The E-levy was not listed in Parliament’s business statement for this week.

The Minority MPs later walked out of Parliament before the second reading of the Bill after debating it.

All the proposed amendments standing in the name of some Minority MPs were withdrawn because none of them was present to move those amendments in their name.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, said he was surprised by the Minority walkout but indicated that it would not affect the course of proceedings.

The levy, which was amended from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent today, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, will be a tax on electronic transactions, which includes mobile-money payments.

The charge will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.

Critics of the proposal have warned that this new levy will negatively impact the Fintech space, as well as hurt low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector.

The levy has been the source of tension in Parliament since it was introduced in the 2022 budget.

The tensions culminated in a scuffle between lawmakers in Parliament in December 2021.

The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net and that could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.

There are also concerns that the government may securitise proceeds from the e-levy to raise extra revenue.

Credit : Citi News

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