President Akufo Addo signed the e-levy bill on Thursday, March 31, 2022, according to Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
As a result, the Bill, which was passed by Parliament on Tuesday, is now a binding law that will be implemented across the country as a revenue measure.
Meanwhile, NewsReport learned that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has hinted that the levy could be implemented as early as May 2022.
By then, he claims, the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) will have all of the systems in place for the levy to be operationalized.
“We had a key meeting with the Controller General and the GRA and they have indicated to us that right at the beginning of May, they should be able to get the systems altogether,” he said.
Background to the Presidential assent
Parliament approved the controversial Electronic Transactions (E-Levy) Bill on Tuesday afternoon.
This decision was reached after the Consideration Stage was completed by a Majority-sided House on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
It was considered under a certificate of urgency.
The Bill was adopted at a reduced rate of 1.5% from the initial 1.75% amid a Minority walkout.
The tax, which has become a subject of debate among Ghanaians is expected to rake in close to ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.
The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has already hinted that its structures have been revised and ready to ensure mobilization of the income.
The Finance Minister was in Parliament to push for Bill’s passage a day before President Akufo-Addo’s State of The Nation Address.
From the onset, the Minority had accused the Majority Caucus of smuggling into the Order Paper the consideration of the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
According to the Tamale South MP, E-levy was not enlisted in Parliament’s business statement for this week.
He questioned why the Majority will pull such a surprise on the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislators.
But Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei-Asare, urged Members of Parliament to join hands in passing the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) Bill to enhance the country’s economic recovery process.
According to her, Ghanaians have already accepted the tax revenue measure and expect its passage.
This, she stated, will help address domestic challenges derailing the growth of the local economy, a development that has led to a high cost of living in the country.
But after a 30-minute break, the Minority Leader announced that his side will have nothing to do with the Bill.
He maintained that the outcome will bring untold hardship to the populace. On that note, he led the NDC MPs to vacate the chamber.
After this development, the House, despite the Minority’s absence embarked on a speedy consideration and effected a few changes in the Bill following which the motion was moved to accept it.
In a voice vote, the Minority sided Parliament admitted the E-Levy Bill.
Speaker, Alban Bagbin, therefore, ruled, “Honourable members, the Electronic Transfer Levy Bill 2021 duly read the third time and passed.”