The President of Policy think tank IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has called on telecommunications network firms in the country to disregard a directive by the Communication Ministry to cease the instant deduction of the Communications Service Tax also known as Talk Tax.
According to him, the directive is unfair and should not be adhered to.
Speaking on The Big Issue on Citi TV, Franklin Cudjoe described the directive as incoherent.
“The conversation is that the telcos are stealing revenues. Now you have imposed a tax and they are taxing on the tax and showing it, that one too you have a problem. You are saying they shouldn't show it. But you said I am a thief. And I am now showing that you have introduced a tax that you will be collecting. In order for you not to feed that narrative into the public's mind and actually give mileage to the narrative, that the telcos are stealing. They are saying, uhuh, have you seen the tax now is 9% and if you buy one cedi you get 0.93, what can be wrong with this? So, I think they should disregard the narrative,” he said.
The Ministry of Communication during the week, issued a statement directed to the National Communications Authority (NCA) to ensure Telcos cease the direct and instant deduction of the Communication Service Tax introduced by the Finance Ministry from consumers.
The Ministry also directed that all unused data and voice bundles purchased by subscribers do not expire and must be rolled over with the next recharge.
But, the Chairman of Parliament's Finance Committee, Dr, Mark Assibey Yeboah had earlier rebuked the telecommunication companies over their mode of implementation of the 9% increment in the Communication Service Tax.
According to him, the operation of the Telcos is a deliberate approach to make the government unpopular. Following the increment of the CST from 6% to 9% the telcos introduced an instant deduction of the tax. For instance, a recharge of GHc10 worth of talk time gives consumers GHc9.2 as a result of the tax.
Meanwhile, a member of Parliament's Communication Committee, Sam George, has accused the Ministry of Communication of exaction in the directive to the telcos of the Communications Service Tax (CST).
He said: “what she [the Communications Minister] is doing right now is basically intimidation which is extortion on a national scale.”