In addition to the loan being facilitated by the government for the purchase of cars for Members of Parliament and Council of State members, a tax waiver of 13.3 million dollars has been tabled before Parliament to cover the importation of the cars for this category of public officials.
This is even though the MPs and the Council of State members are paying only forty percent of the loan being facilitated through the National Investment Bank for the purchase of the cars.
The Council of State members are getting $3.5 million, whereas the 275 MPs are getting $28 million, of which each MP is expected to receive $100,000.
This was laid before the house by the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Ebenezer Kojo Kum, on behalf of the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
“Request for waiver of the Import Duty, Import GETFund Levy, Import NHIL, Import VAT, EXIM levy, COVID-19 Recovery Levy, Special Import Levy, ECOWAS Levy, AU Levy, Inspection Fees, and Withholding Tax (ITS Tax Deposit) amounting to the Ghana Cedi equivalent of thirteen million, three hundred and eighty-seven thousand, five hundred United States Dollars (US$13,387,500.00) on vehicles to be procured for Members of Parliament of the Eighth Parliament of Ghana (2021-2024) and the Members of the Eighth Council of State (2022-2024)”.
‘Don’t give MPs, Council of state members car loans after this last one’ – Finance Committee
Meanwhile, the Finance Committee has recommended to the House to discontinue the practice where government facilitates loans for MPs and Council of state members to purchase cars for official duties.
This was captured in the report of the Finance Committee on the two loan agreements, sighted by Citi News.
There has been a huge public backlash about the loans amidst the economic challenges in the country.
The Committee, nonetheless, wants the new arrangement to be implemented in the future, which means that MPs and Council of State members can still benefit from the current loan agreement tabled by the Finance Ministry.
It thus urged Parliament and the Parliamentary Service to take the necessary steps to ensure the provision is discontinued.
“Accordingly, the Committee strongly recommends to Parliament the discontinuation of the current vehicle loan arrangement for MPs and Council of State Members. Members of Parliament and Members of the Council of State should have similar duty post vehicle arrangements as other Article 71 officeholders. And the Committee respectfully recommends that Parliament and the Parliamentary Service take the necessary steps to ensure that this happens.”
“The instant vehicle loan arrangement for MPs and Council of State Members before us today should therefore be the last one the state is sponsoring,” it said.
The Committee’s request comes shortly after a motion filed by the North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, and the MP for Okaikwei Central, Patrick Boamah, asking Parliament to reject the $28 million loan facility.