MP for Bolgatanga East, Dominic Ayine, says the decision of the Minority to stage a walkout, ahead of the passage of the E-levy Bill symbolises a stand with Ghanaians.
According for the former Deputy Attorney-General, what the NDC did was the best it could have done under the circumstances.
Speaking in an interview with JoyNews’ Parliamentary Correspondent, Kwesi Parker-Wilson, after the walkout, the NDC lawmaker stressed that the Majority in Parliament have been entrenched in their resolve to pass the insensitive Bill; therefore the walk out was in order.
“Well, the problem is that we have a government that has been very very insensitive. And we have said, we want to stand with the people of this country. Standing with the people of this country, can be done in various ways.
One way is to stay and then register our protest through a vote. And we could have done that. Another way is to show the people of this country vividly that the people who are in charge of the reins of government are so insensitive that they want to rush through this insensitive tax policy.
And that would mean that we don’t want to be associated with it, in whatever form, shape, or whatever. And that is why we decided that the best thing for us to do is to walk out”, he explained.
The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday afternoon walked out of the House during the second reading of the Electronic Transaction levy (E-levy) Bill.
Prior to the action taken by the NDC MPs to register their disapproval of the levy, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu reiterated that the levy will have an adverse effect on businesses and worsen the plight of individuals.
MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, John Abdulai Jinapor, also rehashed the point that the Bill is a lazy approach to revenue mobilisation, and therefore should be discarded by its proponents.
As the NDC MPs began to leave the chamber, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu urged Speaker Alban Bagbin to pose the question to affirm the motion to consider the Bill. The Minority moved briskly and managed to evade the question.
Later, the Speaker posed the question and the Majority affirmed the motion. “The AYES have it”, the Speaker said after a deafening silence when he asked “those not in favour say, NO”.
This completed the second reading of the Electronic Transactions (E-Levy) Bill.
The E-levy Bill has since been passed at a rate of 1.5% awaiting presidential assent.