THE COALITION of Mobile Phone Importers and Traders in Ghana (CMPITG) has expressed anger over President Mahama-led administration’s intention of imposing 20 percent tax on importation of mobile phones.
The group, made up of over 1,500 members, believes the ruling government’s intention of imposing the tax, next month, has the potential of collapsing their businesses and denying them their source of livelihoods.
Esther Manu, a leading of the member of CMPITG at a press conference in Kumasi on Thursday, threatened that they would hit the streets in large numbers to demonstrate if the government impose the tax.
She argued that mobile phones are currently not being imported into the country entirely free of charge as is being speculated around, disclosing that they pay airport tax and ECOWAS levy on phones they imported.
Madam Manu noted that any intentions of government to impose further 20 percent tax on mobile phone importation could have dire consequences for players in the business and the country at large.
She stated that the implementation of the 20 percent tax would prevent the country from getting more funds from the talk tax as access to mobile phones would soon be hard to come by for the citizenry.
Madam Manu noted that the implementation of the tax would also increase cross border smuggling of mobile phones, a development which also defeats the government’s revenue collection efforts.
She said the government’s plan would also deny consumers the opportunity of enjoying authentic products which need warranties, as fake products may flood the market through the backdoor.
According to her “affordable data enabled phones are helping the ICT sector to increase mobile data penetration and the increase in prices of the handsets could slow this down.”
She said their business generates direct employment for over 10,000 people and indirectly to thousands of others who deal in mobile products in one way or the other within the value chain.
Madam Manu noted that her group would not accept the 20 percent increase in phone importation since it could collapse their business and make life unbearable for them, warning “we shall meet the 20 percent tax with massive demonstration.”
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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