The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has declared that government will spend the revenue that will accrue from the E-levy, despite a case pending before the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the tax measure.
He argued that since the Court did not issue any directive on whether or not the funds should be disbursed, the government is free to spend the money in any manner that helps its cause.
Speaking to journalists after the Supreme Court dismissed an injunction against the implementation of the E-Levy, on Wednesday, Mr. Dame said the government needs the revenue and will not hesitate to spend it.
“The Court indicated that the injunction is dismissed, meaning there is nothing preventing GRA from collecting the revenue in the first place. Secondly, there is no order made by the Court directing how the revenue collected today should be disbursed.
“So, government is free to utilise the revenue for its developmental activities and for the various projects that it has promised the people of Ghana,” he said.
On the substantive matter before the court, Godfred Yeboah Dame, indicated that 266 MPs participated in the processes leading up to the approval of the E-levy.
According to the A-G, the approval of the bill and its subsequent passage into law, is constitutional.
He argued that on March 29, when the policy was approved, there were only 274 validly elected Parliamentarians and not 275, because the election of the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, had been cancelled.
The Supreme Court by a unanimous 7-0 decision on Wednesday dismissed the application for an injunction against the implementation of the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy).
The apex court has also directed the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to preserve the records generated since the levy’s implementation on May 1, 2022.
In response to the ruling, Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said he is satisfied with the Court’s directive to the GRA until the substantive case is determined.
The Tamale South MP described this part of the Supreme Court’s ruling as “refreshing and heartwarming.”
“At least some people will not be in a rush to collateralise it until the substantive matter is determined. We raised this matter because it is of public interest, constitutional significance,” he told the press after the ruling.
However, the A-G has criticised the Minority for failing to adduce evidence in court over the claim of illegal passage of the E-Levy.
Mr. Yeboah Dame noted that the NDC’s claims are mere propaganda that should be ignored.
He said the party’s argument in court was embarrassing as their lawyer failed to demonstrate any form of irregularity during the passage of the Levy.
“You saw what happened in court today. It was an embarrassing spectacle. The lawyer clearly was not able to demonstrate any form of irregularities with proceedings in Parliament. The court asked him, so is there any record that indicates that X number of MPs walked out at a certain stage?
“He obviously said no, there was no evidence indicating whether there was a headcount of a number of MPs present in Parliament who voted to support the bill. There was also nothing indicated by the lawyer which suggests there was a walkout of X number of MPs, so I think we should ignore all that propaganda,” he said.