The Vice President of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Frank Serebour has advised government to reinvest the tax proceeds it will make off the increased Talk Tax into wirelessly connecting communities through the internet to force the Telecommunications Network Companies to reduce their expensive charges.
In a submission as a panel member on Pure FM’s Pure Morning Drive with Sit-in host Kojo Marfo, monitored by TheNewsGh.com, on the issue of the full implementation of the 9% talk tax by the Telecommunication networks, the GMA Vice President bemoaned the high cost of data and airtime services in the country.
He explained that, the Telecommunication networks have taken Ghanaians for a ride and it is high time the government think of alternative solutions like wirelessly connecting communities to compel the Telcos to reduce their service rates.
“Kojo, let this not be one of those taxes they take and use it for something else. They must reinvest it back into technology by connecting communities wirelessly to compel the Telcos to reduce their service rates.
We are here fighting rural-urban migration, this is one of the ways we can practically reduce this phenomenon by starting from these less endowed communities, people will be compelled to move into these neighborhoods which in-turn will bring about urbanization and development. Also, the migrants from these deprived areas to urban areas will reduce as this will in a way serve as incentive for them to stay.
We must realize the value for this tax we are paying. At least public places should have free wi-fi services just like the advanced countries. We can do it.” He stated.
The Telecommunication Networks effective October 1, has begun a full implementation of the Communication Service Tax (CST), popularly known as the Talk Tax, which was increased from six percent (6%) to nine percent (9%) by the Government of Ghana.
It does not only affect phone calls charges but all other communication services stated under the CST Act 2008.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the increment in parliament on Monday, 29 July 2019 as earlier reported by TheNewsGh.com when he presented the mid-year budget review statement.
Mr Ofori-Atta told the lawmakers that: “The Communication Service Tax (CST) was introduced in 2008 at an ad valorem rate of six per cent. The tax is levied on charges payable by consumers for the use of communication services.
“Government proposes to increase the tax to nine per cent to develop the foundation for the creation of a viable technology ecosystem in the country.
“This will comprise amongst others putting in systems to identify and combat cybercrime, protect users of information technology and combat money laundering and other financial crimes. The increase will not be earmarked, however, the sharing ratio will be adjusted in such a manner that the national youth employment programmes continue to receive the same proportions as they are currently receiving.”