Beginning from September 15, 2020, all mobile devices users will start to enjoy the 4 percent reduction in the cost of their calls and data charges.
This results from government’s decision to reduce the Communications Service Tax from 9% to 5%, as announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in the midyear budget review.
The NPP government inherited the CST at 6%, but increased it to 9% amidst huge public outcry, as telcos decided to pass it on to their customers, after having absorbed the 6% previously.
The Finance Minister said the reduction from 9% to 5% is part of efforts by government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and households.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey said “Right from the 15th of September when you buy your GHC10, either you see that the tariff has dropped or the amount that you get has definitely gone up.”
Ken Ashigbey said between now and September 15, telcos would be doing the necessary reconfigurations and recalibrations of their systems and process to ensure a seamless and incident free implementation that would guarantee the customer the full benefit of the tax reduction.
He lauded government for the reduction, saying “this is what we have always wanted, so that our customers would be able to enjoy the full amount the spend on airtime and data.”
Ken Ashigbey said whereas they appreciate government for reducing the CST, they would have loved it that the CST to be completely scrapped to lift that tax burden from Ghanaians, since it is a service tax and it is for customers to pay.
He said the reduction of the CST means students will be able to get more data to browse and study and business would also be able to make judicious use of the meager resources, particularly in this COVID-19 era.
Ken Ashigbey noted that the reduced tax is coming to add up to the zero-rated offer on thousands of websites that telcos have given as part of the COVID-19 relief packages for students to access educational and health information online for free.
The Telecoms Chamber CEO however admonished Ghanaians not to abuse the tax reduction by spending the extra data and or airtime for fun stuff that would prevent people using it for education and business from having smooth access.