The leadership of the Mobile Money Agents Association of Ghana (MMAAG) has announced its intention to embark on industrial action on Thursday, December 23.
“All agents will go on strike hence all outlets will remain closed.”
This was contained in a statement on Sunday, December 19 and it is in relation to the yet-to-be introduced Electronic Transfer Levy, also known as e-levy, announced in the 2022 budget statement by the Minister of Finance.
Since Ken Ofori-Atta’s announcement on Wednesday, November 17, there have been mixed reactions to the policy.
The Minority in Parliament, for instance, has mounted strong resistance to the policy, claiming it is “draconian” and going to worsen the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
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Telecommunication giants MTN and AirtelTigo last Friday announced that they will revise their charges downwards to cushion customers if the Levy comes into force.
But MMAAG insists its members’ action on Thursday is to register “our total displeasure with the Government’s proposed e-levy of 1.75%”.
The Association said it deems it “necessary to embark on an industrial action” as members see the levy as “very regressive” and “critical to the survival of our businesses”.
They warned that an indefinite strike will be triggered if their demands are not met.
The Levy is before Parliament and is expected to be debated on Monday, December 20.
It is proposing a 1.75 percent tax on all electronic transactions of more than GH¢100.
Meanwhile, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) Gabby Otchere Darko has said that the report on the e-levy proposal has been adopted by the Finance Committee of Parliament.
According to him, the Finance Committee of Parliament has closed its meeting on the e-levy proposal. The report is now heading to the floor of the House for a decision to be taken on it by the plenary.
In a tweet, Gabby said “The news is that the Finance Committee of Parliament has just closed their meeting on e-levy and the report adopted. It shall now go to the floor of the House.”
A former NDC Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu tweeted that “ALL 12 Minority MPs on Parliament’s Finance Committee voted against the E-Levy Bill when it was brought for consideration. All 137 Minority MPs are set to vote against it at Plenary.”
Parliament on Friday, December 17 passed the appropriation bill but did not consider the E-levy.
The consideration of the e-levy was shifted to today Monday.
The introduction of the levy met resistance from the opposition lawmakers in Parliament.
Speaking at a post-budget workshop in Ho on Saturday, November 20, he said “Mr. Speaker, understandably, we see that the Minister of Finance seeks to introduce some measures including the now popularly declared e-levy or digital levy as some have quite named it.
“Mr. Speaker, our concern is whether the e-levy itself is not and will not be a disincentive to the growth of the digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country. We in the minority may not and will not support the government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build a national consensus on that particular matter.”