The Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, recently revealed that, since October 20, customers have been reimbursed of their 9percent deductions supposed to be for Communication Service Tax (CST).
The minister made this disclosure at a press conference to highlight the financial returns in government’s Common Platform project.
Mrs. Ekuful noted that after the upfront CST deduction, the telecommunication companies send a notification of a refund to affected customers.
“I am sure that you can all verify that,” she said.
Expectedly, the increment of CST from 6percent to 9percent generated some qualms between consumers on one hand and the service providers on the other, as well as the government.
The minister of finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the supplementary budget presented to parliament in July, announced an increase in the CST from 6percent to 9percent.
Until the telecos started the deductions, Ghanaians did not appreciate the financial burden of the increment. To rub it in the telecos, decided to adopt upfront deductions and it is so biting.
The minister of Communications, who was not interested in the financial implication of the increment on ordinary Ghanaians, but rather the political consequences to the government, started issuing threats and given directives to the telecos, as to how to apply the tax.
Even when a colleague Member of Parliament, wrote an innocuous letter to her, drawing her attention to the implication of her directive to telecos to stop upfront deduction, she did not take kindly to that, replying in a harsh tone, telling him he won’t take morality lessons from a brothel.
As a newspaper, we are appalled by the pronouncements of the minister, since the increment took effect. The latest obvious untruth she told of reimbursement, was enough if it was in another jurisdiction or if she was ceased with even a scintilla of conscience to resign from her post.