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Business News of Sunday, 23 August 2020


Taxes on spectrum costs and digital devices to be reduced – Dr Bawumia

Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Vice President, Dr Bawumia has disclosed that taxes on digital devices and spectrum costs will be reduced should his party the [NPP] be re-elected in the upcoming polls.

According to him, governments digital transformation resolve will also witness a reduction in Communication Tax Service (CST) as announced by the Finance Minister in his mid-year budget.

Addressing attendees at the New Patriotic Party’s 2020 Manifesto launch on August 22 in Cape Coast, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia explained the move is in accordance with enhancing Ghana’s digital services to drive the economy.

“We have since 2017 demonstrated the potential for public policy to inspire digital transformation initiatives. The next step is to create a digital services economy through the expansion of the Ghana Innovation Hub project to nurture start-ups to accelerate the development of applications software, provide regional e-backroom services, and enterprise-level software,” he stated.

“Over the next four years, we will leverage on our existing digital infrastructure and make the necessary investments and policies to establish firmly Ghana as the digital services hub of West Africa.

Specifically, we will also reduce the high cost of data in Ghana because while the cost of data has gone down significantly by 40%, from $1.56 per 1G in 2019 to $0.94 in 2020 and placed Ghana as the sixth cheapest in Africa, our goal is to be among the cheapest. To do this, we will reduce taxes on digital devices, reduce spectrum and license costs,’ he added.

The Vice President also disclosed moves by government to reduce the cost of international calls in a bid to support regional and international trade.

“This will reduce further the cost of international calls to support both regional and international trade, by removing the mandatory $0.19 per minute tariff for international incoming calls and replacing it with a competitive regime and remove the $0.06 surcharge to an ad valorem tax,” Dr Bawumia said.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last month in July said the implementation of the new Communication Service Tax (CST) for all mobile service subscribers is expected to take effect from September 2020.

This follows an earlier announcement in the increment of the CST in 2019 by the Finance Minister pegging the rate at 9 percent for all telcos to charge mobile services subscribers.

Subsequently, the rate has since been reduced to some 5 percent as announced by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta in Parliament