Learn from protests in Lebanon – Dumelo cautions govt on Communication Service Tax

Sun, 20 Oct 2019 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

NDC Parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso West Wuogon, John Dumelo has cautioned government to be wary of the tax on calls and data recently passed on the back of outrage and protests in Lebanon’s capital, Beirut.

Sharing his concerns on Twitter, Mr. Dumelo tweeted: “One of the reasons people are protesting in Beirut is because the government wants to tax what’s app calls. Well....”

Protests in Beirut erupted Thursday after the Lebanese government hinted of plans to increase taxes on calls via messaging applications used in the country.

According to reports, the extended pressure forced government to scrap the proposal within hours, but demonstrations carried on into the night before security forces dispersed them on Friday.

The government of Ghana on October 1, began to charge mobile phone users a 9 percent levy for communication services.

The Communication Service Tax (CST) was previously set for 6%, however, it was raised to 9% during the presentation of the 2019 Mid-year Budget Review by the Finance Minister.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, told Parliament that the levy was increased in a bid to build a viable technology ecosystem in Ghana.

In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority (NCA) Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful charged telecommunication companies to cancel the expiration of data and airtime bought by users.

“…CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GETFund levy and all other taxes and levies imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated…"

"All unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge," she directed.

But more than a week after Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful’s directive, it is yet to be implemented.

“The communication minister came out to fool us saying the http://tele.network, should stop the deduction but more than a week now what do we see, still the deduction is ongoing,” a concerned fan also tweeted.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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