Just In: Gov’t to tax calls on Whatsapp, Facebook and others soon – Minister

The Minister of Communications and Digitization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed that 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).

Addressing the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D), Minister for Communications and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful hinted that stakeholders in the telecommunication sector, especially Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), will be engaged on how government can shore-up its revenue by taxing OTT.

We are determined to accelerate the use of digital technology, applications and services at all levels, build and protect our digital infrastructure, and enhance capacity and digital skills acquisition of our youth. As you may be aware, it is only through tax revenue mobilization that such investments and more can be funded.

“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 added that the increased adoption of technology in various sectors of the economy is excellent, but it also comes with risks such as financial fraud, data breaches, identity theft and cybercrimes which must be addressed to protect people and systems.

“The Cybersecurity Act 2020, Act 1038, has just been enacted; and it establishes an authority to protect our critical information infrastructure, regulate cybersecurity activities, provide for interception of communication, and develop the cybersecurity of our country. We are in the process of operationalising the act. We will also be conducting SIM re-registration this year, a process that is long overdue,” she intimated.

An over-the-top (OTT) digital service is a media service offered directly to telecommunication customer via the Internet. OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms.

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