Parliament resumes sitting today

Parliament will resume sitting today, January 25, 2022, after almost a month’s break for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The House is expected to, among other things, consider many bills that have been laid before it, including the controversial Electronic Transaction levy (E-levy).

Since its introduction in the 2022 budget statement and fiscal policy, the E-levy has generated a public debate, especially between the Majority and the Minority groups in Parliament.

Parliament adjourned proceedings to January 25, thereby cutting short any attempt to approve or reject the e-levy Bill.

It happened after proceedings in the House were brought to a halt, following the fisticuff among members of the two sides of the House on Monday, December 20, 2021.

The chaos erupted when the First Deputy Speaker allegedly tried to vacate his seat for the Second Deputy Speaker in order to partake in the ongoing voting exercise.

The hung nature of Ghana’s 8th Parliament has been an underlying factor in all these situations.

Ahead of the crucial meeting, the Speaker, Alban Bagbin has urged the leadership of the Majority caucus to prioritise consultations in their decision-making processes with regard to business of the House.

Mr. Alban Bagbin noted that this is the only way the activities in the legislature will run smoothly.

“The only way is to get the two sides to consult and to dialogue with each other, to cooperate, to compromise, to collaborate to achieve consensus, this is an imperative imposed on us political leaders by the people of Ghana, we have no choice,” he said on Monday.

However, Majority MPs have laid the blame at the Speaker’s doorstep, accusing him of displaying partisanship in steering the house because of his NDC affiliation.

First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has already opined that government may never be able to rely on Mr. Bagbin for a successful government business.

But Ningo-Prampram MP, Sam George, says the Majority in Parliament has refused to build consensus on the approval of the E-levy.

According to Sam George, the Majority has rather taken an entrenched position and neglected the interest of Ghanaians. He spoke on The Pulse on Monday.

E-levy not on Parliament’s business statement this week

The Member of Parliament for Banda, Ahmed Ibrahim has revealed that the government at Parliament’s business committee meeting on Monday, failed to present the e-levy bill to be reintroduced to the House.

According to the Deputy Minority Whip, the government instead of holding engagements with stakeholders during Parliament’s recess went about celebrating the Christmas instead.

The Minority has called for the suspension of the levy while the Majority is stern on the approval and passage of the Levy.

Other stakeholders are of the view that the rate of the levy should be reduced since it’s a new initiative.

Source: myjoyonline

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