BY PHILIP ANTOH
GHANA HAS increased the Communication Service Tax (CST) but many members of the general public remain unaware of its implementation let alone the increase.
The CST was hiked from 6% to 9% in the mid-year review and supplementary budget presented to Parliament by Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance.This would affect the cost of telecommunication services rendered to customers by the companies, including Vodafone Ghana, AirtelTigo, and MTN Ghana.
A statement issued by the Chamber of Telecommunications said the CST had been increased from 6% to 9% and would be applied to any recharge purchased by customers.
According to the new CST, every GH¢1.00 worth of recharge or airtime purchased, a 9% fee would be charged on it, leaving GH¢ 0.91 for purchase of products and services.
While some members of the public said they were unaware of the new tax, others said although they had heard of it, they were not aware that it was going to take effect from October 1.
A 40-year old pharmacist, Ms Loyce Eyram Sekpla, said, “As for my house, we do listen to news every time so we have heard of it, except that we didn’t know it was going to take effect soon.”
On the other hand, a mobile money and recharge card merchant, Nii Laryea Tagoe, said, “Me, I do mobile money, but I haven’t heard of this. I’m only hoping that it doesn’t affect the movement of my work and sale of recharge cards because I know customers will complain by all means,” he said.
The earnings from the revised tax, according to the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori Atta, would help in promoting the development of a viable technology ecosystem in the country.
Among the benefits the state would enjoy in the implementation of the revised CTS is the protection of users of information technology, combat of money laundering and detection and combat of other crimes.