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I refuse to join you in your brothel - Ato Forson to Ursula

Thu, 24 Oct 2019 Source: Class FM

The Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan Essiam, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, has said Communication Minister Ursula Owusu-Ekuful’s retort to him in relation to some matters he raised relating to the Communication Service Tax (CST) was abusive.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful told the Minority spokesperson on Finance not to instruct her on how to do her job.

She gave the response after Mr Forson questioned her order to the telcos to cease the upfront deduction of the Communication Service Tax (CST).

After the directive to the telcos last week, Mr Forson wrote to the Ministry requesting the withdrawal of the fiat which he described as illegal.

In a letter to Mr Forson, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said the lawmaker was in no position to give her orders concerning her job.

“Your remedy does not lie in issuing orders and instructions to me on how to do my work”, the Ablekuma West MP said, adding: “As the adage goes, ‘If I want lessons in good morals, I certainly will not go to a brothel for it’.”

“I hold a contrary opinion fortified in the fact that the Electronic Communication Act, which provides the legal basis for all Mobile Network Operators to work in this country, also gives the Minister of Communication the right to issue policy directives to the regulator in the management of the sector,” she added.

Reacting to the minister’s response in a statement issued on Wednesday, 23 October 2019, Mr Ato Forson said: “It is important to note that even though the Electronic Communication Act gives the Minister of Communication the right to issue directives to the regulator in the management of the sector, it does not give the Minister of Communication the authority to issue written directives that are necessary for the administration and implementation of tax laws as stated in Section 1, subsection 1 and 2 of the Revenue Administration Act.

“I had hoped that we could engage in a decent discourse as public officers who occupy transient positions only at the pleasure of the people we are expected to serve with decorum and honour, but it wasn’t to be. Guided by Colossians 4:6: ‘Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man’, I refuse to join you in your brothel”.

Read below his full statement

Hon. Cassiel Ato Forson fires back; I refuse to join you in your brothel, be guided by Colossians 4:6 (NIV)

Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Hon. Minister of Communications

Ministry of Communications

P. O. Box M.38

Accra, Ghana

Ref: Directives on Communication Service Tax (CST) Implementation

Reference is made to your abusive letter, Ref. No. SCR/HB.128/239/02, dated 16th October 2019.

I shall reiterate that the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act) 915 Section 1, Subsections 1 and 2, assigns the responsibility to administer tax laws in Ghana to the Ghana Revenue Authority. For the avoidance of doubt:

Subsection 1 provides - The Ghana Revenue Authority is responsible through the Commissioner General for administering and giving effect to tax laws in accordance with the provisions of the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009, (Act 791).

Subsection 2: Without limiting the powers and responsibilities of the Commissioner-General under the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009 (Act 791), the Commissioner-General may give written directives that are necessary for the implementation of tax laws.

It is important to note that even though the Electronic Communications Act gives the Minister for Communications the right to issue policy directives to the regulator in the management of the sector, it DOES NOT give the Minister for Communications the authority to issue written directives that are necessary for the administration and implementation of tax laws as stated in Section 1, subsections 1 and 2 of the Revenue Administration Act as quoted above.

I had hoped that we could engage in a decent discourse as public officers who occupy transient positions only at the pleasure of the people we are expected to serve with decorum and honour, but it wasn’t to be. Guided by Colossians 4:6, (NIV) “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone," I refuse to join you in your brothel.

Sincerely,

Signed

Cassiel Ato Forson, MP

Ranking Member

Finance Committee

Parliament of Ghana

23-10-2019

Source: Class FM
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