The Finance Minister , Ken Ofori Atta, has said that the proposed E-levy in the 2022 budget statement has not changed.
He said at a press conference in Accra on Monday December 6 that the proposal is still at 1.75 per cent.
“On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time,” he said.
This is contrary to what the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament Alexander Afenyo Markin had said earlier to the effect that the levy had reduced to 1.5 per cent.
“For nothing at all when it comes to the bill, we know that government has shifted from 1.75 to 1.5,” the Effutu Lawmaker said on Accra-based Joy FM.
He further announced some changes in the budget statement.
He said “with regards to Agyapa Royalties Ltd, we shall amend paragraphs 442 and 443 to take out references to mineral royalties collateralisation. It is important to note that, any reference to Agyapa was for informational purposes, and as such was not reflected in the fiscal framework;
“In respect of the unfortunate tidal waves which rendered about 3,000 people homeless in Keta, we shall make the necessary budgetary allocations of at least GHS10 million to complete the Feasibility and Engineering studies for the coastal communities adversely affected.
“We will broaden the scope of the study to consider a more comprehensive solution to protect Ghana’s 540 Km of coastline, including the 149 Km between Aflao and Prampram. Meanwhile, NADMO has responded to the humanitarian crisis created by the tidal waves on the Keta coastline;
“Relating to the Aker Energy transaction, we shall amend paragraph 829 of the 2022 Budget on the acquisition of a stake from Aker Energy and AGM Petroleum by GNPC, to reflect the resolution of Parliament dated 6th July, 2021 that “the terms and conditions of the loan for the acquisition of the shares shall be brought to Parliament for consideration pursuant to article 181 of the Constitution; and
“On the benchmark values, we shall avert any hardships to importers and consumers while safeguarding the interest of local manufacturing industries to secure and expand jobs for our people. This administrative exercise which reviewed 43 out of 81 line items, has the objective to promote local manufacturing and the 1D1F policy, including the assembling of vehicles. It is important to note that this adjustment affects only 11.4% of the total CIF value, of which 50% is for vehicles. From our analysis, the potential increase in retail prices should be relatively insignificant and therefore inflation should be muted.
“The YouStart policy will also support our accomplished Traders with appropriate training and access to capital to become Manufacturers in order to expand the industrial base of our society and our import substitution strategy, in line with our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
“We will work with the relevant Committees of Parliament to reflect these modifications in the 2022 Budget as is the usual practice, before the Appropriation Bill is passed. Any other concerns which may emerge shall be addressed during the discussions of the estimates by the Committees, as has been the tradition.
“On the matter of the E-levy, having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultations with the Minority Caucus in Parliament and other relevant stakeholders, with a view to achieving consensus and reverting to the House in the shortest possible time.”
The Minority ad rejected the levy. In their view, the proposal will worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
Asawase Member of Parliament, Muntaka Mubarak in a statement on Friday December 3 said ” The NDC Caucus in Parliament wishes to assure Ghanaians that it will continue to use every legitimate and lawful channel to resist the 1.75% E-Levy government is seeking to impose on the ordinary Ghanaian.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the position of the NDC Caucus in Parliament right from the outset of the 2022 Budget debate has been that the 1.75% E-Levy government is seeking to impose is regressive, punitive and draconian, and that same must be suspended.
“The Minority Caucus has vigorously championed this position in Parliament and in the media space to draw Government’s attention to our demands. Subsequent to our rejection of the Budget on 26th November, 2021, government has sought to engage the NDC Caucus in a series of discussions towards finding an amicable solution to the impasse.
“Surprisingly despite the good faith demonstrated by the NDC team recognising the importance of the Budget to the economy, business and households, the government side out-rightly rejected our proposal for a revision of the E-levy leading to a breakdown of the discussions.
“We wish to state unequivocally that no concrete decision or agreement has been reached between government and the NDC Caucus in Parliament on this matter.
“As we speak, government’s so-called concessions are unknown to us and we have no clear indication that they intend to seriously consider any of the proposals that have come up.
“Under the circumstance we wish to state that the NDC Caucus will maintain its original position as stated earlier.”