Politics

Speaker recalls MPs to consider waiving VAT on donations for fighting Covid-19

Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye, has recalled MPs from suspension for the third time.

The legislators are expected in the House on Thursday, April 30.

“The sitting, will among other things, consider waiving Value Added Tax (VAT) on donations of stock of equipment and goods for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic,” a statement from the House’s public affairs unit said.

MPs would also consider “permitting the deduction of contributions and donations towards Covid-19 as allowable expense for tax purposes.”

 recalled MPs
Speaker Oquaye has recalled MPs for the third time

Also, the legislators would consider “extending the due date for filing of taxes from four months to six months after the end of the basis year.”

The measure has become necessary due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the livelihoods and life in general.

This is the third time Prof. Oquaye has recalled Parliamentarians since suspending the sitting indefinitely on Saturday, April 4.

The House was set to adjourn and go on recess but Prof. Oquaye told MPs they cannot go on holidays because “we are not in ordinary times,” referring to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Minority in the House described the move as dictatorial and threatened to seek legal redress.

“What he has done remains the gravest ever threat to Parliamentary democracy in Ghana and an assault on the Minority in Parliament.

“He simply doesn’t respect due process. He simply doesn’t respect rule of law,” Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu told journalists outside the chamber.

Previous recalls

Three days later, MPs were recalled to consider a statement from the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, which the NDC MPs said should have been done before they rose.

On April 15, MPs were again recalled to consider the appointment of Ledzokuku MP, Bernard Okoe-Boye, as Deputy Health Minister.

The Minority is, meanwhile, yet to challenge the Speaker’s suspension of sitting in court.

The suspension allows the Speaker to recall the House at any time of his choosing without the necessary 14-day notice.

SourceOswald Azumah

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