Ghanians will now be able to import their smartphones at a 20 percent off the regular price as the government, just like Tanzania an year ago, will be removing the fee they had imposed on the country a few years ago.This the government says will increase internet penetration
Last month, phone sellers in the buisness had consulted the government regarding the same. They argued that the 20 percent imposed tax has lead to the massive tax evasion that has benn happing in the county hence encouraging smuggling of handsets into the country.
This having been announced during the 2014 budget allocation in the parliament, the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper said: “Mobile phone penetration is high in Ghana. However smartphones form only 15% of this penetration. Communication is shifting from voice to data and mobile data is projected to grow 6.3 times between 2013 and 2018. It is being proposed that in order to increase smart phone penetration, and in line with Government’s policy of bridging the digital divide within the country, import duties on smartphones will be removed.”
The Minister also revealed that government will also remove import duty and VAT on inputs for the production of machetes , exercise books and textbooks.
The decision, according to him, will benefit the printing industry.
The minister further said that the government will remove Value Added Tax(VAT) on locally produced pharmaceuticals and other raw material as part of its policy to support local industries.
This is not the first time government has removed VAT placed on goods and services.
Government, in the 2014 Budget removed import duties and VAT on raw materials used for locally produced exercise and text books under the supervision of Ministry of Education and HIV/AIDS drugs under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
In a related development, government has requested Parliament to approve a bill imposing a Special Petroleum Tax of 17.5 percent on petroleum products.