The Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has asked whether the government will cancel the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) now that it is planning to reintroduce road tolls.
According to him, the government clearly stated before implementing the E-Levy that the levy was a replacement for road tolls.
“They told us that they were introducing the E-Levy because they had removed road tolls. Are we to now understand that because road tolls are coming back, we will stop paying E-Levy?
“I think that this is a question we must be legitimately asking and demanding proper answers. Because one of the reasons and justifications for this poorly thought out policy was that we are going to pay E-Levy; E-Levy was going to be used for roads and so no need for road tolls,” the MP said in an interview on Good Morning Ghana, on Tuesday, monitored by GhanaWeb.
“Now, we are not just bringing back the road tolls; we are bringing it back with an almost 100 percent increase in all the tolls,” he added.
The MP made these remarks while reacting to a press statement by the Minister of Finance which indicated that the tolls were going to be reintroduced.
In the press release sighted by GhanaWeb, the finance minister wrote to the Ministry of Roads and Highways to confirm the approved fees as tolls on roads and bridges will be reintroduced this year.
According to Ken Ofori-Atta, “It is provided under Section 6 of Act 1080 for the Minister to amend the schedules of the Act to include or exclude MDAs and/or adjust the fees and charges collected by MDCs for their services through a Legislative Instrument when necessary.”
“Accordingly, this ministry has initiated steps to provide for foundational rates for tolling of roads and highways as part of the amendments of the Act, pending completion of the process to identify the rods and highways to be affected by the reintroduction of the road tolls as stated in the budget,” he added.
The approved fees and charges for motorbike users will pay 50 pesewas instead of 19 pesewas.
Saloon car users will pay a fee of GH¢1 rather than the previous 50 pesewas fee.
Pick-ups/4×4 vehicles and light bus users will be charged GH¢1.50 pesewas when the toll booth reopens.
Drivers of heavy buses will also pay GH¢ 2 instead of the GH¢1.50 pesewas they used to pay.
For drivers of medium and heavy goods trucks up to 4 axles, the fee to be paid will be GH¢3 instead of GH¢2.
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.