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General News of Monday, 28 February 2022


E-Levy at 'bone shaker' level - Abu Sakara mocks

Abu Sakara is former presidential candidate on the ticket of the CPP play videoAbu Sakara is former presidential candidate on the ticket of the CPP

E-Levy yet to be re-laid in parliament

Abu Sakara describes E-Levy as “E-Chork”

Abu Sakara speaks on E-Levy

A former flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster, has mocked the current state of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) which seems to be taking on a political rollercoaster in the country.

According to the former presidential aspirant, the E-Levy can be likened to the mummy trucks of old, which needed some improvised forms of brakes anytime they were along any hill.

Abu Sakara was speaking at a lecture on a Reviewed 1992 Constitution in Accra when he made these comments.

According to him, it appears none of the people supporting the bill are ready to step down from their stance because they know how bad a thing it is they are trying to force down on the people of Ghana.

“I don’t know how many people are [old] enough to know what happens in a mummy wagon when you are going uphill and it starts rolling back. There is something called the ‘chork.’ (Imitates people making a distress call for passengers of such a car to descend, while asking for a car break), that is the E-Levy situation: nobody wants to get down off the truck but if you don’t get down off the truck, and if they don’t use the ‘chork,’ the consequences will be dire. So, it is an E-Chork,” he said.

He added that there is the need for the country to move towards consensus-building so that in the future, there would be cooperation on such things like the E-Levy bill.

“But, I am extremely sensitive to sentiments that have just been echoed. We have pursued this path of the national interest for about 5 years now, not because we suddenly woke up from somewhere but because it was the reality that if we don’t seek consensus, and build consensus, and just follow our personal and political pursuits, we are not going to get the kind of cooperation, the kind of mutual respect,” he said.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta is yet to re-lay the controversial E-Levy before parliament for deliberations that will lead to its approval.

Meanwhile, the Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has conceded that the government may have rushed the introduction of the controversial Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy).

He explained that it has taken them hindsight to come to the realization that many people are against the bill.

The MP for Suame also said that before the introduction of the E-Levy, the government expected some level of rejection to it, just as is the case in many economies, but this one turned out a little more differently.

“You see the Finance Minister, for instance, going to organize townhall meetings in various regional capitals. Maybe, we underestimated the resistance. In any human institution, people will not come out willingly to embrace the imposition of taxes. So, we thought that yes, there’d be some resistance being a new tax; a new levy we’re going to introduce but maybe we underestimated the strength of the resistance,” he said in a video shared on Twitter.

Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further stated that the ongoing townhall meetings across the country, as well as efforts being made by Members of Parliament on the New Patriotic Party side, could have preceded the introduction of the bill to Ghanaians.

“So, maybe what we are doing now, and I know my colleagues; some of them are trying to explain things to their constituents. With hindsight, maybe this ought to have preceded the introduction of the levy, perhaps, next time, we’ll do better,” he said.

The government has provided several reasons for which it intends to go all the way in getting the E-Levy passed into law in the country but the Minority in Parliament, backed by majority of Ghanaians, have expressed their oppositions to it.

As of now, the bill is yet to be re-presented to parliament for deliberations that will lead to its passage.