The antagonistic stance that has been adopted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) towards the e-levy proposed in the 2022 budget appears to have attracted the attention of Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Though the astute King did not specifically mention NDC MPs, he seems not happy with the back and forth debate of the budget in Parliament.
Otumfuo has, therefore, told the MPs in the face that it is not their role to either determine policy for the executive or to frustrate them from performing their legitimate duty.
“It is to our good that our representatives in Parliament subject the national budget to the most vigorous scrutiny and to call for changes. Government must always have the humility to acknowledge and embrace useful inputs from all sources.
“But our representatives need to also bear in mind that it is not their role to either determine policy for the executive or to frustrate them from performing their legitimate duty,” he said.
The Asantehene was speaking at the launch of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Commemorative Gold Coin in Kumasi last week, Sunday.
Otumfuo also noted that payment of taxes is very important since the government of the day uses it to develop the country.
“We have been fortunate in our political journey to have moved on from a period of one political party dominating everything. Today, at least the two main political parties have all been in government. If we are honest, we will agree that there is no perfect government and there will never be as long as we have different points of view.
“And if we are honest, we will also agree that there are no people in this world that love paying taxes and yet there is no other way conceived by the human mind by which government can raise the resources to meet our needs other than by raising taxes.
“I do not know of any form of taxes that is less painful than others. So at last, government, by all means would have to raise taxes to meet our needs and if we are good citizens, we will pay our taxes,” he said.
There is some seeming delay in the approval process of the 2022 budget, occasioned by entrenched positions held by the two caucuses in Parliament, on aspects of the budget.
However, both Majority and the Minority caucuses have pledged to build consensus towards the approval of the budget.
But the Minority Caucus has indicated its strong resolve to reject the government’s proposed 1.75% E-levy in its entirety.
“It is true that we engaged. We were part of the engagement, but at that engagement, regrettably and unfortunately, on the matter of e-levy we could not have agreement and consensus.
“We believe that the e-levy is punitive and will undermine our quest to grow a digital economy in seeking to tax transactions,” the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu told the House recently.