Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has directed all Mobile Network Operators (MNO) to stop the upfront deduction of the Communication Service Tax (CST) from the recharge of consumers, ABC News can report.
In a letter addressed to the Director-General of the National Communications Authority, a copy of which is in the possession of ABC News, the Minister said the telcos may be seeking to exploit consumers following the coming into existence of the 3% increase in the communications service tax.
She explains that the Mobile Network Operators are taking advantage of the increment to shift all the 9 percent CST on consumers hence increasing their profit margin.
She continued that though a series of meetings have been held between the Communications Ministry, the MNOs and the NCA to get the Telcos to review their position on the subject matter, all of which have not yielded much results.
In view of this, the Communications Minister has directed the National Communications Authority to ensure that the telcos revert their decision to charge upfront the 9% CST.
The minister noted that the purpose of the directive is to help ease the burden on consumers brought about by the unilateral decision by MNOs to shift the entire 9 percent tax on consumers.
In the letter sighted by ABC News, the Minister put forth that “CST should be treated the same way VAT, NHIL, GetFund levy and other taxes and levies are imposed on entities doing business in Ghana are treated.”
“This extraordinary upfront deduction of CST and notification of same to subscribers must stop with immediate effect,” the minister emphasized.
Also, the Minister has directed that telcos roll over all unused voice and data bundles so that their subscribers can use them.
She added that the MNOs will henceforth be subjected to strict compliance with existing Quality of Service standards.
According to the Minister, this will ensure consumers get value for money.