Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader in Parliament, has stated that the Minority’s injunction case against the introduction of the e-levy before the Supreme Court is a futile exercise.
According to him, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) members did not exhaust internal Parliamentary procedures to address differences over the bill’s adoption.
The Minority in Parliament filed an application with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 19 to stop the e-levy deductions from being implemented.
The e-levy implementation will commence in May, according to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
He said, “we had some meetings with Controller and Accountant Generals Department (CAGD) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and they have said right at the beginning of May they should be able to put their system together.”
Parliament approved the E-levy following the third reading on Tuesday, March 29.
During the second reading, the Minority held a walkout.
The minority members left when Mr Iddrisu stated that the NDC MPs will continue to oppose the proposal as a group.
“They say they want to stop the implementation but the bill is already being implemented, I don’t know what they mean by that,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also an MP for Suame, said during a news conference with the Parliamentary press corps on Friday April 22.
He added, “so, if you fall foul to it you can be prosecuted for falling foul to the bill that has been assented by the President. So this bill is in operation, the necessary structures are being put in place now, it doesn’t mean it is not being implemented, it is being implemented, if the Minister tells you that the actual collection starts from 1st May.”
“I think we are beholding some dangerous spectacle in Ghana. Minority party and opposition party exist, Parliament as a whole must be putting government on its toes especially through its committee and if something untoward happens a committee or an individual or the caucus could raise the matter.
“The business of the house requires that these matters are mooted through parliament using the structures to challenge decisions that are taken. If you are saying that you don’t think it was an appropriate representation in the House and you have taken a decision you can come by a motion.
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“The burden of proof is on them. On the injunction, I don’t want to pronounce on it but I guess you and I will know that it is going to be an exercise in futility. As far as I am concerned, let us endeavor to exhaust the processes and procedures in parliament, if you are not satisfied and you want to move further upstairs, yes. But at the say so of an individual that let us go to court, when the matter had not been dealt with in Parliament, it is a very dangerous precedent in this country.
“Let nobody convince or persuade himself that the NPP is going to be in government forever, the path that you are charting now will be there to haunt you tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. Litigate your matter in Parliament , why are you afraid to litigate your matter in matter?”
On May 4, a hearing will be held at the supreme court on the minority members petition.