The National House of Chiefs has condemned the fisticuffs between the Minority and the Majority sides of Parliament over the electronic transaction levy.
The President of the House, Ogyeahoho Yaw Gyebi II, described it as "unfortunate that in recent times our parliamentarians decide to exchange blows on the floor of the house".
Speaking at the end-of-year general meeting of the National House of Chiefs in Kumasi on Wednesday, 22 December 2021, Ogyeahoho who doubles as Sefwi Anhwiasohene said the action of Parliamentarians has not only affected their image but "Nananom" and the entire nation.
"...we believe they are all responsible people and that is why we call them honourable and they should always jaw-jaw instead of turning the floor of the house into an arena of boxing", Ogyeahoho said.
He urged both sides of the house to exercise restraint and resort to dialogue and engagement on broad national negotiations to arrive at a consensus.
Ogyeahoho noted that the equal numerical strength of the 8th parliament is an indication that Ghanaians want them to work together.
The NPP Majority in Parliament and the NDC Minority have both taken entrenched positions with regard to the introduction of a 1.75% e-levy, which will affect electronic transactions, as contained in the government’s 2022 budget statement.
While the NDC are against the levy and want it scrapped, the NPP is for it with the explanation that the upsurge in the use of e-payment platforms, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been an impetus for the introduction of the levy.
They say Ghana recorded a total of GHS500 billion from e-transactions in 2020 compared with GHS78 billion in 2016 and, thus, the e-levy proceeds will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, and digital and road infrastructure, among others.
On Monday night, the MPs from both sides exchanged blows while deliberating on the e-levy.
Parliament has adjourned to January 18, 2022, to allow cool heads to prevail before taking a final decision on the levy.