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We’ll not ambush Minority with E-Levy bill - Majority

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
 Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin
Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin

The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has said the Majority in Parliament will not ambush the Minority in the consideration and passage of the Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021 (E-Levy).

In his view, the Business Committee of Parliament had made provision for motions and bills, including E-levy, to be considered in the ensuing week.

“The Finance Committee has a number of bills that they are considering which include E-Levy, a matter before Parliament. So, the report of the committee will be considered as a motion,” he said.

Ambushing

Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Business Committee, stated that when he presented the business statement last Friday for February 22 to 25, 2022.

He gave the assurance when he responded to a question on why the Finance Committee of Parliament had done its work on the bill but the motion on the bill had not been considered.

That was after the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, had complained to the Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Andrew Asiamah Amoako, who was presiding, that the business statement Mr Afenyo-Markin presented did not make any provision for the E-Levy bill to be taken next week.

The Asawase MP recalled how the persistent assurances by the Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, over the past three weeks that the bill would be put before the House had not yielded any outcome.

He noted that the business statement for next week clearly indicated that the House would not take the bill.

“We do not want a situation where an attempt will be made to introduce the bill because any attempt to do that will be ambushing. If the bill is going to be introduced unplanned, that we will not accept it and I just thought that we needed to serve this notice,” he said.

Heat on MPs

Responding, Mr Afenyo-Markin said the business statement he presented last Friday contained motions that might be debated and their consequential if any.

“The motions include the E-Levy, so do not create the impression with mischievous intent that the government does not intend to pursue its own policy. We have provided for it and it is there; we do not need to mention E-Levy,” he said.

Expressing surprise that some NDC MPs were complaining about lack of funds for road construction in their constituencies, Mr Afenyo-Markin reminded them of the urgent need for Parliament to pass the E-Levy bill to allow the government to raise funds to “complete these projects in your constituencies.”

“I am happy the pressure is coming from your constituencies and the heat is on you; assist the government to pass the E-Levy,” he stated.

He, therefore, urged the two sides of the House to build consensus to pass the E-levy bill just as they considered the Sputnik-V report by consensus.

Blame game

The NDC MP for Juaboso, Mr Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, lamented the manner in which some Majority MPs kept blaming the Speaker as the cause for the consideration and passage of the bill.

“Some NPP MPs blame the Speaker for not being in the seat for the bill to be taken; Mr Speaker has been in the country and for one week he has been sitting and you are reading the business statement and there is nothing to that effect,” he said.