Three members of Parliament of the minority, led by leader, Haruna Iddrisu (Tamale South MP), Mahama Ayariga (Bawku Central MP), and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa (North Tongu MP), have filed an injunction application at the Supreme Court in Accra against the implementation of the electronic transfer levy, popularly known as E-levy, ahead of the May 1 commencement date.
Chiefly amongst their argument before the apex court is that Parliament did not have the right numbers to form a quorum for the passage of the E-levy Bill into law, thus, thereby praying the Supreme court to declare the approval null and void.
They are also invoking the original jurisdiction of the court pursuant to Articles 2 (1) and 130 (1) of the constitution and rule 45 (1) and (2) of the Supreme Court rules (1996) C.I 16.
They are seeking a further declaration that “the purported vote by the 136 Members of Parliament on each clause of the Electronic Transfer Bill, 2021 is in contravention of Article 104(1) and therefore null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”
“An order of the Honourable Court setting aside the purported passage of the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill, 2021, by the 136 Members of Parliament of the Majority Caucus present in the Chamber of Parliament on the 29th March 2022 as being unconstitutional, null and void.”
The court has, however, scheduled the hearing of the case for May 4, 2022, three days after the planned date for the implementation of the levy.
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, announced via his Facebook page that the application was successfully filed yesterday, Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
“We have today successfully filed an application at the Supreme Court to injunct the implementation of the obnoxious E-levy pending the determination of our substantive case,” he stated.
Parliament passed the bill on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in the absence of the Minority MPs, who had walked out before the Bill was considered at the second reading stage.
The levy, which was amended from 1.75 percent to 1.5 percent on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, will be a tax on electronic transactions, which includes mobile-money payments.
The charge will apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.
Critics of the proposal have warned that this new levy will negatively impact the Fintech space, as well as hurt low-income people and those outside the formal banking sector.
The levy has been the source of tension in Parliament since it was introduced in the 2022 budget.
The tensions culminated in a scuffle between lawmakers in Parliament in December 2021.
The government has, however, argued the levy would widen the tax net and that could raise an extra GH¢6.9 billion in 2022.
There are also concerns that the government may securitize proceeds from the e-levy to raise extra revenue.
By Monitoring Desk