Government is said to be running out of patience over crude tactics been adopted by the Telecommunication companies operating in Ghana to deny the state of huge sums of revenue.

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Telecommunication operators are been accused by government of leading smear campaign against Subah Infosolutions Limited, a company contracted by government to validate the Telcos financial statements, in order to achieve varying interests and deny the nation of much needed revenue.

 

Unknown to the Telecom Chamber, the umbrella organization for the Telcos, government is said to be well aware of the relentless efforts to blackmail the works of Subah Infosolutions and whip up public sentiments against it as a corrupt organization in order to escape paying revenue due the state.

 

A senior government official who spoke to The aL-hAJJ on condition of anonymity stated that government will not kowtow to all the machinations by the Telcos to engaged so-called civil society groups and their assigns in the media to brainwash the public in believing that government has been reckless in employing SUBAH to collect actual tax from the Telcos.

 

The source said the Telcos have shortchanged Ghanaians for far too long and it is time the country reclaim what is rightly due the people to spur growth and development.

 

Telecommunication companies operating in the country through its parent organ, Telecom Chamber, have in recent times been engaged in running battle with government over the latter?s resolve to track its activities.

 

To keep a close eye on the activities of the Telcos, the Ghana Revenue Authority in 2010 contracted a private ICT firm; Subah Infosolutions Limited, to provide telecommunication traffic monitoring to ensure that they paid the required tax charged on phone calls.

In order to do this, Subah Infosolutions asked that it linked its system to that of the Telcos, this the telecom companies resisted on the account that officials at the company will be listening to conversations, and reading messages of subscribers.

This restrained Subah Infosolutions from effectively satisfying its full mandates as contained in a contractual agreement signed between the company and the GRA. As a result, media reports early this year suggested that the SUBAH? was beneficiary of a GHC 144m paid by the GRA for no work done and that SUBAH lacked the expertise.

While it was alleged the telcos fueled the attacks on the company to paint it as filthy corrupt and incompetent and possibly halt its operation to allow them continue to under-declare their revenue, available records show that when Subah Infosolutions Ltd started the monitoring even as not effective as it was required, the GRA?s average monthly revenue from the Telcos jumped from GHC19m to an unprecedented GHC 40m.

 

A clear indication that prior to the monitoring, which the Telcos are allegedly working tirelessly to halt, they have over the years not paid the required tax, hence GRA?s low revenue and government?s inability to meet its revenue target to bring the kind of development Ghanaians desire.

 

While the Telcos succeeded in using their surrogates in the media and Civil Society Groups to paint Subah?s agreement with GRA as a bad deal meant to cheat Ghanaians, a technical committee set up by government to investigate the agreement exonerated the highly berated company, describing the contract as lawful.

 

Hit by the news of Subah?s mandate to enforce the Communications Service Tax Act, Act 754 of 2008, which include monitoring the communications service tax returns filed by the Telcos, which will deny the Telcos the opportunity to shortchange the state in terms of tax, they have intensified their smear campaign against the company again.

 

The Chief Executive Office of Ghana Telecoms Chamber, Kwaky Sakyi Addo, in response to the report exonerating Subah described the company as either ?irredeemably incompetent? or ?fatally fraudulent.?

 

In line with their antics, IMANI Ghana, who have vilified the company since news broke about its activities, and a self-acclaimed financial analyst, Sidney Casely Hayford have threatened to drag the company and the National Communication Authority to the Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

 

 

Meanwhile, NPP aligned groups like AFAG and Young Patriots, who are noted for doing the bidding of expatriate companies for pittances at the expense of the state all in the name of advocacy, have also launched a blistering attack on the company.

 

In all of these blackmail and intimidating antics by the telcos, the Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga, vowed that “No amount of verbose writing by either the Telcos or the Ghana Telecoms Chamber will stop us from doing that.”

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