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Calls to Scrap 20% Tax on Telecoms Imports to Ghana

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Ghana's Chamber of Telecommunications has called on the government to scrap the 20% import duty currently applied to telecoms equipment and mobile phones.

The trade groups' CEO, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo said that the high import tariff encourages smuggling and leads to less tax being paid than if it were scrapped in favour of collecting sales tax on mobile services.

He said that lower upfront costs from a lower import duty would increase telecoms use, and lead to higher revenues from the Communications Service Tax (CST). Import duties can be evaded by smuggling, but the CST cannot, so there would be a net gain for the government he noted.

"The cost of telecoms services in Ghana are among the cheapest in Africa and can get cheaper if costs are reduced with lower taxes."

"Mobile network operators are eager to deliver quality of service to customers because there's no other way to generate revenue than to keep customers connected."

He also cited poor urban planning as a major challenge confronting players in the telecommunications industry.

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Tags: Ghana