A Private Legal Practitioner, Yaw Oppong has described as unconstitutional, the decision by government to lay a Special Petroleum Tax of 17.5% before Parliament for approval this year.
The Finance Minister, last Wednesday, submitted the bill to Parliament after presenting the 2015 budget statement and asked for Parliamentary approval.
Parliament subsequently passed the bill despite stiff opposition from the Minority in Parliament.
But speaking on Citi FM’s News Analysis Programme, The Big Issue, Yaw Oppong described government’ s decision as unlawful.
“At least I started reading it [budget] and I saw that the Minister said that this is the budget for the year ending 31, December, 2015 and therefore I expect that whatever is contained in that appropriation bill if it is approved, should be only for 2015?
“Article 179 states that the President shall be called to prepare and lay before Parliament at least one month before the end of the financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the government of Ghana for the following financial year; so I understand that to mean that this budget is to be approved for application in the year 2015…,” the legal practitioner explained.
According to him, “to take a portion of the appropriation of the bill meant for next year and actually implementing it this year is contrary to the clear provisions of the constitution.”
Speaking on the same platform, the Executive Director of Imani Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe described the decision as irresponsible and fraudulent.
“It is irresponsible.. The fact that you [government] have stated that this will be in 2015 and all of a sudden under some emergency rule, you bulldoze your way. It is fraudulent. It is disingenuous as well.You can’t do that,” Franklin Cudjoe fumed.