The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has said the injunction application filed against the implementation of the e-levy by the Minority at the Supreme Court is an exercise in futility.
In his view, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers failed to exhaust the internal arrangements in Parliament to resolve disagreements over the approval of the bill.
On Tuesday April 19 the Minority in Parliament filed an application at the Supreme Court to block the commencement of the e-levy deductions. The hearing of the application will take place on May 4.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta earlier revealed that the implementation of the e-levy would start in May this year.
We had some meetings with Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and they have said right at the beginning of May they should be able to put their system together,” he told TV3’s Roland Walker in Parliament after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo delivered the State of the Nation Address on Wednesday March 30.
The E-levy was passed by Parliament on Tuesday March 29 after the third reading in the House. The Minority staged a walkout during the second reading. They walked out after Mr Iddrisu said the NDC MPs remain united in opposing the policy.
But speaking at a forum on Friday April 23, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who is also lawmaker for Suame said “They say they want to stop the implementation but the bill is already being implemented, I don’t know what they mean by that .Upon the assent of the President he bill, if Parliament has not postponed the operation of the bill , immediately after the assent it comes into operation.
“So if you fall foul to it you can be prosecuted for falling foul to the bill that has been assented by the President. So this bill is in operation. the necessary structures are being put in place now , it doesn’t mean it is not being implemented, it is being implemented. If the Minister tells you that the actual collection starts from 1st May.
“I think we are beholding some dangerous spectacle in Ghana. minority party and opposition party exist , Parliament as a whole must be putting government on its toes especially through its committee and if something untoward happens a committee or an individual or the caucus could raise the matter. The business of the house requires that these matters are mooted through parliament using the structures to challenge decisions that are taken. if you are saying that you don’t think it was an appropriate representation in the House and you have taken a decision you can come by a motion.
“The burden of proof is on them. On the injunction.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana