By Edzorna Francis Mensah
Ghanaians may need to brace up for more heated and debates from their Members of Parliament on the floor, if the Government goes ahead to present to Parliament the Electronic Transaction Levy in its current form and shape since the NDC MPs have indicated a stance not to badge.
Even before, Parliament resumes in a few days, the conversations have begun over the Electronic Transaction Levy of 1.75% also called MOMO Tax.
The augments for and against the Bill have gone beyond The Chamber where a Member of Parliament sits to debate matters brought before them, as usually advertised on the Order Paper or Order Paper Addendum on the day of sitting.
The contentious Electronic Transaction Levy heavily featured during the advanced stage of 2021 which has equally received wide publicity and publication in the media and got almost the entire country talking.
As of last year, the two major political parties have made their positions on the Bill very clear and unambiguous which manifested on the floor of Parliament a day before the last adjournment, as the House tempted to cast first vote on it, prior to the dreadful debates.
Parliament is expected to reconvene on Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 at 10 o’clock in the forenoon or so soon thereafter for the first sitting of the first meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament of the fourth republic, to start a public business.
Adjournment Sine Die without torching Electronic Transaction Levy Bill:
Proceedings in Parliament will continue the resolution as to whether the E-Levy Bill should be considered under a Certificate of Urgency or not ended abruptly as the First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu announced the House had adjourned sitting sine die.
This came after the House reconvened Tuesday, December 21, 2021, following the abrupt suspension of sittings by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrews Asiamah, after a fight broke out during the voting on the E-levy on Monday, December 20, 2021.
The adjournment was proposed by the Majority Leader, Leader of Government Business Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, and was seconded by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu after the House led by the Second Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu adopted votes and proceedings of 20th December 2021.
When the vote was put on the question for adjournment, the Minority side won by voice as declared by the Second Deputy Speaker.
The House was adjourned to Tuesday 21st December 2021 to continue the public business related to the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, but due to lack of consensus on the issue the House adjourned to January 2022 in line with the Parliamentary Calendar for the year 2021.
The Minority supported the adjournment to January 18, 2022, after the argumentative E-levy failed to pass due to opposition from NDC MPs on the floor and outside Parliament.
Before Parliament reconvenes on January 25th, 2022, the Minority urged the government to do more consultations, according to Haruna Iddrisu.
Mr. Iddrisu at the Press Conference noted that “the people of this country, value the work of Parliament by given the two major parties equal numbers”, a position the Majority heavily supported as he said, an adjournment will allow cool heads to come back to the House for them to continue with business in a much more serene environment and in that regard invited the Speaker to adjourn the House in the hope of them to come back in January, 2022