Economist and Senior lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Lord Mensah, has maintained that the economy will not come crashing down if the government fails to get the E-Levy bill passed.
He stated that although he fears that the lack of consensus-building in Parliament on the government’s fiscal programme could stall the government’s agenda, he insists there is no cause for alarm.
He again noted that looking at the budget presented for the year 2022, an increase in revenue mobilization goes beyond the GHS 7 billion expected to raise from the E-Levy and so if for nothing at all, the country could reach last year’s revenue target.
Hence, with or without the E-Levy, the government can run the country and so the approval or disapproval of the levy by Parliament should not put the management of the economy to a halt.
“It has economic implications but it does not mean that management of the economy has been halted. If we are to play by numbers, clearly that 6 billion or 7 billion that can be raised from the E-Levy shouldn’t stop the government from running the economy. If we look at our budget, the government’s indication of increasing revenue goes beyond the 6 billion. So if for nothing at all let’s reach last year’s target. Without the E-Levy, we should be able to run the country as expected”, he said.
He also described the move for Parliament going on recess to do thorough consultation on the E-Levy as a good one.
“It’s good to have Parliament going on recess to do a thorough consultation and coming back. I can tell you that we can still run this without the E-Levy. So I don’t see anything strange that will come up to say that because of the E-Levy, maybe workers are not going to be paid. The government may not get the excesses as expected,” he added.
Parliament has postponed sitting to January 18, 2022, without passing the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy of 1.75% which was expected to be considered by the House under a certificate of urgency.
The adjournment of Parliament comes after the House reconvened on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, following the abrupt suspension of sittings by the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrews Asiamah, after a fight broke out during the voting on the E-levy on Monday night – December 20, 2021.
At the commencement of sitting on Tuesday (21 December), the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, suggested to the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was presiding to adjourn the House to 18 January since efforts to reach the Speaker by phone has not been answered and to allow cooler heads to also prevail before taking a vote on the E-Levy.
According to him, the House wasn’t in a serene environment to conduct business, considering the events of the previous night.