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Business News of Monday, 27 July 2020


Govt to slash controversial CST by 4% within six months

Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, Finance Minister

The controversial Communications Service Tax (CST) is set to be slashed by 4 percent, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

This, the Finance Minister indicated, should be done within six months from now.

Ofori-Atta made the revelation during his 2020 mid-year budget statement to Members of Parliament on Thursday.

If approved by lawmakers, the ‘talk tax’ as it is known would stand at five percent, one percent lower than what it was before the Akufo-Addo administration increased it a year ago.

The decision received widespread backlash, criticism that intensified after the telecommunication companies transferred the charge directly to consumers.

Telco consumers were charged the tax upfront as they bought ‘pay as you go’ prepayment credits.

But the government, through the Communications Ministry prevailed on the Telcos to treat the CST as any other tax and factor it into the entire cost for customers of using the services.

The Telcos, according to the Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, were deducting the tax upfront simply to make the government unpopular.

But Chief Executives of some of the telecoms companies rejected the claim.

“What will be the interest of a multinational in making government unpopular,” Vodafone’s Patricia Obo-Nai quizzed.

Be that as it may, the Telcos withdrew the upfront deduction after pressure from the government.