The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has applauded the government’s decision to extend the free supply of water and electricity to consumers by three more months and the reduction of Communication Service Tax to 5% from 9% in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These were 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 said the government should ensure that water tanker distribution services benefit all during the period.
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 announcement of these reliefs by the minister of finance in the budget review 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.”
On the reduction of the CST to 5%, the CPA said it “would help bring down the cost of data and phone calls across the telcos,” adding: “We entreat the telcos to reduce their prices to reflect the new charges as announced by the finance minister.”
The CPA, in a statement, urged all implementing agencies and operators to ensure that the consumers who are to enjoy the announced reliefs, do 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.