In Ghana today, the heated arguments surrounding the controversial Electronic Levy ( E-Levy) bill is still on; and gotten to the stage where Ghanaians may need to brace up, for possible more battles in the floor of Parliament.
The proposed Electronic Transaction tax, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. The tax, when approved,will come into effect on 1st February 2022., The levy covers electronic transaction like mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances.
The electronic levy, also known as the Momo tax; when passed by parliament, will affected transactions like Mobile money transfers between accounts on the same electronic money issuer (EMI), Mobile money transfers from an account on one EMI to a recipient on another EMI, Transfers from bank accounts to mobile money accounts, Transfer from mobile money accounts to bank accounts and Bank transfers on a digital platform or application which, originate from a bank account belonging to an individual to another individual.
Before Parliament reconvenes on Tuesday, 25th January, 2022 at 10 o’clock, it is very important for Ghanaian to note that, The augments for, and against the E-levy Bill have gone beyond the Chamber of Parliament, where Members of Parliament sits to debate matters brought before them.
Honorable Joseph Osei-Owusu-the Deputy Speaker of Parliament has suggested that, the the electronic tax bill must be debated and voted upon under a hastened "urgency" procedure, but the Minority NDC group fiercely challenged that; and when the voting resulted in a tie, a brawl broke out in the House...making it the third time Ghanaian parliamentarians have had a brawl.
Even before, Parliament resumes tomorrow to continue their business, conversations have begun over the Electronic Transaction Levy of 1.75% Momo Tax. According to some, the introduction of the e-levy may force some people to resort to the use of cash, for the majority, there is no viable alternative. At the moment, electronic payment, especially mobile money, is the most efficient and cost effective means of transferring money since it is widely accessible in Ghana.
Others have also suggested that, there are a number of reasons why the Nana Addo-Bawumia government is not likely to backtrack...and that Ghanaians should brace themselves for the 1.75 e-levy.
As of last sitting in parliament, the two major political parties (the Ruling New Patriotic Patty-NPP, and the Opposition National Democratic Congress-NDC), have made their positions on the bill very clear.
The Majority NPP caucus have argued several times that, the 1.75 Momo tax, would widen Ghana's tax revenue to $1.15 billion in 2022; adding that, it would help bring more developments into the country... and vowed to do all they can to approve the e-levy bill.
The Minority caucus in parliament has also argued that, the proposed levy will affect people of lower-income who extensively rely on mobile transactions, for their daily lives...and that, they are going to do everything possible to resist the approval.
The Minority in Parliament has again noted, that Ghanaian value the work of Parliament; and that, it was the reason why they (the NDC and the NPP-the two major parties) were given equal numbers in Parliament, and so they will resist any attempt from the Government to impose more hardship on them.
Looking at the 'heat' in the country currently, and the hot debates here and there, it appears if the Finance Minister-Ken Ofori-Atta goes ahead to present the 1.75% E-levy to Parliament, in its current form, and shape...there might be more upcoming brawl in the House of parliament comes 25 January 2022.
What is your take...do you support the introduction of the Mobile Money Tax in Ghana?
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