Ghanaian News

Report telcos that still deduct CST upfront – Government

The government is urging the public to report telcos that still charge them the 9% Communication Service Tax (CST).

A Deputy Minister for Communications, George Andah said all teclos have been directed to immediately stop the upfront deductions made on mobile credit top-ups by service users.

Mr. Andah explained that the CST which was increased from 6% to 9% earlier this year, must be implemented in the same manner as it is with the health insurance levy and the value added tax.

He warned that service providers who disregard the directive run the risk of facing sanctions including losing their licenses.

“As far as the directive signed by the minister is concerned, the telcos are to ensure that immediate effect is given to the directive. Anybody that is still not experiencing the directive has every right to file a complaint with the National Communications Authority (NCA) and I believe the NCA will act. If the telcos are mindful of the fact that the minister has the capacity to issue policy as far as her sector is concerned, then they have to do the needful,” he said.

“There are a number of consequences for anybody operating in Ghana not following policy decision of the sector. It could range from fines to the withdrawal of licenses,” George Andah added.

The announcement of the increment in CST, also known as Talk Tax saw telcos announcing subsequently that “for every ¢1 of recharge purchased, a 9% CST fee will be charged leaving ¢0.93 for the purchase of products and services.”

Many mobile users were sent text messages from their operators about the development, generating disquiet among some users.

But according to the government, the increment is to allow it get enough funds to put in place systems to identify and combat cyber crime, protect users of information technology and combat money laundering and other financial crimes.

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