The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has served notice to mobile subscribers and the general public that, mobile network operators will adjust tariffs to reflect the 4% reduction in Communications Service Tax by Tuesday, September, 15, 2020.

A statement issued by the Chamber said the modifications will represent 5% CST charge and would be applied through a tariff adjustment on the products and services of members, in accordance with the passage of the Communication Services Tax (amendment) Act, 2020 (Act 1025).

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Dr. Ing. Edem Ashigbey has said “The tariff
adjustment program means when our customers pay the same price they would enjoy more, which is in line with the Government’s measures in alleviating cost burden on citizens in the wake of the global pandemic.”

Mobile Network Operators, according to the statement will be notifying their customers on the completion of the modification exercise and provide further transparency on the adjusted tariffs of their products and services while offering other relevant information post usage of these services.

The statement further noted that smooth reconfiguration of service providers’ systems to accommodate the commercial and technical requirements, is a testament of the effective dialogue and stakeholder engagements led by the Finance Ministry as well as the supervising Ministry and agencies.

This comes after the announcement by the Ministry of Finance in relation to a reduction in the Communication Service Tax from nine percent to five percent in the Mid-year budget review.

The move which will see the cost of calls and data reduce, forms part of measures being rolled out by the government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background of CST

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.

In 2018 the tax brought in a total of GH¢420 million, representing a 27.7 per cent increase from the estimated ¢304 million accrued in 2017.

The amount generated from the levy was 4.56 per cent more than the projected ¢401.8 million in the 2018 mid-year budget.

The telcos started charging customers the revised CST from October 1, 2019, after the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, announced an increment in the tax from six to nine per cent in the Supplementary Budget.

The Finance Minister in justifying the increment, had said it was aimed at creating a viable technology ecosystem to among other things identify and combat cybercrime. – Additional files from Graphic