GHANA: Communication Service Tax faced similar rejection as E-levy but now a major source of revenue for dev’t – Ursula

The Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has noted that the E-levy is facing the same opposition as the Communications Service Tax (CST) did when it was first introduced by the John Agyekum Kufuor administration in 2008.

According to her, the fears which were expressed regarding the CST introduction, to the effect that it was going to kill the telecommunication companies as consumers were going to change their mobile usage habit, did not happen.

The telecom companies continued to be in business, the CST also survived and has become a major source of revenue for national development, she said.

Speaking at the government’s townhall meeting on the E-levy in Koforidua on Thursday January 27,Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said “In 2008 the government of President Kufuor introduced the Communications Service Tax, in August of that year and it became another source of income for national development That tax was introduced at the rate of 6 per cent which was later increased to 9 per cent . E-levy is being introduced at the lowest rate for any tax in Ghana comparatively at 1.75percent , less than 2 per cent.

“In other countries digital taxes are are being introduced at the rate of up to 10 per cent and they are paying, that is the UK, yet we go there and seek loans for our development when we are paying the requisite …

“In 2022 the Communications Service Tax Amendment Act was passed to reduce the rate from 9 per cent to 5 per cent from the 15th of September 2020 .

“When the CST was introduced it faced similar oppositions we are seeing currently , the current speaker dubbed it as Talk tax and the NDC and industry led by the GSMA data claimed it would damage the growth of the telecommunications industry as consumers would change their mobile communication habits , this did not happen, they were unfounded fears.”

The Member of Parliament for Ablekuma West further revealed that over 333million Mobile Money (MoMo) transactions have been undertaken between 1st and 24th January this year.

The value for the transactions for this period is 75billion cedis, she said.

She said “It is no longer a luxury, it has become an indispensable tool for transacting any kind of business , it is not just for entertainment, it is a working tool, it is your bank in your pocket, it is your office in your pocket, it is your source of correspondence, among other things. Read more

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