The controversial Electronic Transaction Bill has been passed awaiting presidential assent to become a law binding every individual in Ghana.
The e-levy is a new tax measure introduced by the government in the 2022 Budget on basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions.
Critics of the proposal, including the Minority have warned that the new levy will negatively impact the Fintech space, as well as hurt low-income persons.
The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net as it could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.
Many expected to see the minority side in parliament oppose the bill considering the numbers on both sides in the house. But, they staged a walkout from the floor of the house during the second reading on the controversial E-levy bill.
The development occurred after Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu said the NDC MPs remain united in opposing the policy.
Contributing to the E-levy debate on the floor of the House on Tuesday March 29, he described the policy proposal as punitive which if approved will further increase the “the high cost of doing business in the country.”
“E-levy is the nuisance of nuisance tax,” he said, adding that “businesses are suffering under your watch. We are united that we will not support E-levy, we will not vote for E-levy.”
Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, earlier announced that the government has decided to reduce the rate of the Electronic Transfer Levy by 0.25 percent.
This means, the state will no longer charge the proposed 1.75 percent but rather 1.5% on all electronic transfers if the E-levy Bill is approved by parliament.
Ken-Ofori Atta gave these details when he appeared before the House to table the motion for the commencement of the debate on E-levy.
“During the period, the telecommunication operators agreed to reduce their charges by 25 percentage point to bring their part of the charge to 0.75 percent. In light of all these discussions and that same great spirit of cooperation, the government has also decided to reduce the rate of the levy from 1.75 to 1.5 percent of the transfer. At the consideration stage, I will bring the necessary amendments to reflect the changes”, he said.