The Minority in Parliament should focus on how the monies to be accrued from the E-levy would be expended on specific projects, instead of completely opposing it, Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, has said.
Addressing a media briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra on Wednesday, Mr Mensah Bonsu said, as part of Parliament’s oversight responsibility of ensuring accountability and transparency, Parliament should demand for how much monies from the E-levy would be specifically be expended on road infrastructure, education, health, and other social facilities.
The Minister expressed optimism that Parliament would make headway in approving the E-levy as the Minority Caucus in Parliament had now moved from “Zero tolerance for E-levy” to at least one per cent E-levy during the committee meetings to discuss the budget estimates.
The government, in the 2022 Budget, proposed 1.75 per cent E-levy on mobile money transactions, bank transfers, and internal remittances.
However, the Minority Caucus in Parliament has opposed it, saying it would worsen hardship in the country and collapse businesses.
Mr Mensah Bonsu, also the Majority Leader and MP for Suame, said the government needed revenue to develop the country and believed the E-levy would accrue GH¢8m annually to the government, instead of the GHC78 million accruing from the road tolls.
The Minister said an opposition party had the responsibility of critiquing government budget and policies but not to the extent of physically throwing blows over it.
With the global Covid-19 pandemic, he said, the government needed to raise revenue internally to execute its programmes and policies.
Mr Mensah Bonsu indicated that both the Majority and Minority groups in Parliament had been dialoguing and building consensus on a number of issues and believed it would inure to the benefit of Ghanaians in terms of development.
He urged the media to be concerned about the stability and integrity of the country’s democracy instead of raising tension.