Former President John Mahama has expressed his gratitude over what he says is the decision by President Akufo-Addo to implement some of his suggested social interventions as Ghana battles coronavirus.
The former President, however, believes the government can reduce the costs of power and LPG to cushion Ghanaians just as has been done in case of water.
“I suggested a flexible adjustment in timelines for submission of SSNIT returns due to the manpower downturn occasioned by the pandemic. I also requested consideration of some tax relief for small businesses and tax exemption on critical medical items and other goods required for our COVID-19 response effort.
“I also suggested the scrapping of the 50% increase in the Communications Service Tax (CST) and negotiations with the Telcos for some reduction in data tariffs in exchange for a free six month extension of their licences. This will be welcome relief for thousands of Ghanaians who are having to work from home,” Mahama wrote in a piece Tuesday.
He added: “I urged government to provide food from the National Buffer Stock Company or elsewhere to alleviate hunger in the most deprived communities within the lockdown areas.
“I am grateful to note that some of these suggestions were taken on board during the President’s last broadcast to the nation. While the announcement of relief from water tariffs was received with appreciation, the lack of water in many parts of the specified areas make the three month cancellation of tariffs meaningless for some.
“The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) must be supported to increase the supply of water to make this gesture meaningful to all. Our people are also urged not to waste water at this critical time.
“Clear instructions must be given to GWCL that the Presidential directive of three months relief from water tariffs means that no consumer must be billed for the months of April, May and June. This is notwithstanding if they have arrears on their bills or not”.