The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the motive of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in resisting the passage of the E-Levy is a continuation of its game plan to undermine the ability of the government to raise revenue for development.
It said the move of the NDC was to make the government unpopular and thereby lose political power to the NDC, “even if it means shredding the credibility of Ghana abroad”.
“We cannot forget the desperate measures used by the NDC in the Seventh Parliament in blatant attempts to sabotage the fortunes of a country, the affairs of which they left in tatters. When the NPP government issued a $2.3-billion-dollar bond in April 2017 as part of urgent steps to re-profile the threatening debt bequeathed to Ghana by the Mahama-led NDC government, the NDC Minority in Parliament wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America seeking to scupper the bond issue.
“They also went to the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), all in an attempt to undermine the efforts of the government to manage the debt overhang,” the Director of Communications of the NPP, Mr Yaw Buabeng Asamoa, said at a press briefing in Accra yesterday.
Again, Mr Asamoa said, in August 2018 after parliamentary approval in July 2018, the NDC wrote to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to try to stop the novel SinoHydro bauxite barter agreement brokered by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
He explained that the SinoHydro agreement would fund much-needed infrastructure, especially in the northern parts of the country in exchange for refined alumina, and that “inherent in the deal was the realisation of the long elusive national desire to establish a bauxite refinery in Ghana, a project that would localise the full benefits of bauxite mining to create new jobs and skills and position Ghana as a major player in the forex market through export of aluminium-related products”.
Indeed, Mr Asamoa said, the constituency of the Minority Leader, who was vociferous against the deal, had benefited from it with the siting of the first-ever interchange due for completion soon.
“They also failed miserably when they again wrote to the IMF and the World Bank in May 2020 to stop the NPP government from accessing $1 billion in COVID-19 relief funds, citing misreporting of figures, a grievous offence that no country should wish for itself, though former President Kufuor had to pay a fine for the NDC having done exactly that,” he emphasised.
In view of the virtual parity in numbers, Mr Asamoa said the NDC Minority appeared bent on doing worse in the Eighth Parliament, adding that “importantly, the resistance in Parliament, especially to the role and rights of the First and Second Deputy Speakers of Parliament, has no basis in law as captured in the Standing Orders of Parliament. Order 13 (1) entitles the Speaker presiding to rise at any time, irrespective of the stage of proceedings, and to invite another Speaker into the Chair to continue Presiding”.