Ukraine conflict affecting economy, we need E-Levy – Afenyo-Markins:
Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, says the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is affecting economies the world over including Ghana’s.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, he urged the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).
The Efutu MP stated that this will ensure government has the needed resources to run the country’s affairs, including the evacuation of the many Ghanaians stranded in Ukraine.
“I have my own view on this matter I believe members will agree to. That when somebody coughs, another person sitting his somewhere catches a cold.
“There is no doubt on my mind that just as Covid-19 disrupted the world economy, this war is also disrupting the world economy and affecting developing nations like Ghana. Already, the unemployment situation is something that is a burden on us as a country. Ghanaians are worried about fuel prices.
“They go to the pump and it’s unbearable and we are having this escalation which is also leading to high prices of crude.
“This is the time for us as a country for a new approach to our politics….This is not the time for partisan politics. This is the time to work together because it is a whole crisis that won’t be limited to the people of Effutu but those at Elembele will go through the same crisis.
“There is a call on us as patrons to think of new ways. As a businessman, I’m concerned knowing that the value chain is going to be affected. Imports will cost, duties will cost and if you look at what is happening to the cedi, now the dollar is moving around a certain figure.
“This is about an international catastrophe which is affecting mother Ghana and the need for us to take away the politics and now have a new way of thinking to support our government. Mr Speaker, the call to evacuate Ghanaian citizens from Ukraine will come at a cost, no European country will evacuate our citizens for us, NATO will not do that, America will not do that.
“There is going to be pressure on the limited resources that we have. As a nation, Ghanaian businesses who are supposed to do well to pay taxes they are going to suffer, their businesses will not do well the way they expect, their projections will be affected, that is the reality and I must bring this to the attention of all of us so that any policy that will be brought will be seen in that light.”
The sound of gunfire has echoed through Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, as Russian tanks were filmed entering the city for the first time, the BBC has reported.
It said Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence called on those living in Kyiv’s northern outskirts – where the tanks were filmed – to make fire bombs “to neutralise the enemy”.
Overnight, the city was hit by blasts, with at least one block of flats damaged and several civilians injured.
Russia has denied carrying out strikes.
The unnamed source at Russia’s defence ministry also said a plane shot down over Kyiv was Ukrainian, Reuters news agency reports. Ukraine has said the jet was Russian.
Energy experts have said the war is going to affect the price of oil on the international market with a cascading effect being felt in Ghana.
Already Ghanaians are complaining about the weekly increases in fuel prices.
The Deputy Majority Leader says the country needs to be self-sufficient so it cushion’s itself.
He believes this makes a strong case for Parliament approving the E-Levy.
“This is the more important reason why we need it. If you are talking about the E-levy, that was the next point I was getting to, that we should engage around it and find a way of generating revenue as a country to save the situation because we are not in normal times.
“Haruna Iddrisu couldn’t have raised this matter at a better time than now. This is a patriotic call from him.”