The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has applauded the government’s decision to extend the reliefs on electricity and water supply to consumers and the reduction of Communication Service Tax to 5% in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Water supply to homes that was made free for the months of March, April and May 2020 has been further extended by three months by the government.
This was announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta while delivering the Mid-year supplementary budget statement before parliament in Accra on Thursday, 23 July 2020.
The CPA says the government should see to water-tanker distribution services, for all to benefit from the bailout in the fight against Covid-19.
On electricity supply, the finance minister announced that electricity has been made free for consumers who have an average monthly consumption of 50 KWA and below (Lifeline Consumers) and 50% reduction as a relief for residential and commercial consumers who consume electricity within the lifeline limit.
The announcements of these reliefs by the minister of finance in the budget reading is seen by the CPA as “a good gesture and measure to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 on consumers of water and electricity in the country.”
Again, the communication service tax, that was revised in October 2019 to 9% has been reduced to 5%.
This decision according to the CPA “would help bring down the cost of data and phone calls across the telcos,” adding “This we entreat the telcos to reduce their prices to reflect the new charges as announced by the finance minister.”
CPA in a statement urged all implementing agencies and operators mandated to ensure that the category of consumers who are to enjoy these reliefs as announced by the Finance Minister does so without any discrepancies and anomalies.
“We also wish to indicate that if there are any set procedures, guidelines, or information meant for beneficiary consumers within the stated tariff classes these agencies should make them publicly available. We are asking consumers who believe they might not be enjoying the reliefs as stipulated to contact our office on the following numbers 026 -815-0309, 0302 -737-205 or on our Social Media Handles (Twitter @ConsumersGh and on our Facebook Page: Consumer Protection Agency Ghana,” the statement said.