Government set to put tax on Facebook, Whatsapp calls and others soon -Communication Minister

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Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications and Digitization, has revealed that the government is considering generating revenue from calls on social media platforms. This, she said, is being done with collaboration from the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Speaking at the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D), Minister for Communications and Digitalization Ursula Owusu-Ekuful hinted that stakeholders in the telecommunications sector, particularly Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), will be engaged in discussions about how the government can shore up its revenue by taxing OTT.

GOVERNMENT

We are determined to accelerate the use of digital technology, applications, and services at all levels, as well as to build and protect our digital infrastructure and to improve our youth’s capacity and digital skills acquisition. As you may be aware, such investments and others can only be funded through tax revenue mobilization.

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“Currently, government is losing huge revenues from the MNOs to OTT digital service providers as traditional sources of telecoms revenue like voice declines. It is important that we have a frank, open dialogue on this, and explore other sources of revenue within the digital services space to improve government domestic revenue mobilization,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful said.

Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful went on to say that while increased adoption of technology in various sectors of the economy is great, it also brings risks such as financial fraud, data breaches, identity theft, and cybercrime, all of which must be addressed in order to protect people and systems.

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“The Cybersecurity Act 2020, Act 1038, was recently enacted, and it establishes an authority to protect our critical information infrastructure, regulate cybersecurity activities, provide for communication interception, and develop our country’s cybersecurity. We are in the process of putting the act into action. We will also conduct SIM re-registration this year, which has been long overdue,” she hinted.

Over-the-top (OTT) digital services are media services that are delivered directly to telecommunications customers via the Internet. OTT bypasses the platforms of cable, broadcast, and satellite television.

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