The Eastern Regional Chairman of the Progressive Hotels Association (GHAPROHA), Nana Obuobisa, has appealed to government to exempt indigenous hotels from paying the amended television license fees.
According to him indigenous hotels were struggling to break even due to the imposition of over 20 taxes and levies adding that the payment of GH¢36.00 per a TV set per annum was too much for them.
Speaking here last week Wednesday during a TV licence education by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) he suggested that instead of paying license on every TV set indigenous hotels should be made to pay separate licenses.
“For example we can be made to pay for the first five sets and any additional ones on our premises at a flat fee,” he said.
The programme was organised by the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat of GHAPROHA as part of its monthly deliberations.
The TV licensing Act 1966 (NLCD 89) as amended, directs that “a person shall not install or use a television receiving set unless there is in existence in relation to that set a valid television receiving set licence granted by the licensing authority under this Act”.
The Act also directs that “a person shall not carry on the business of selling, hiring or otherwise disposing of television receiving sets or of repairing television receiving sets unless that person holds a valid dealers’ license, granted by the licensing authority in relation to the respective business”.
The Act mandates GBC to collect the license fee. The annual fee for domestic license users is GH¢36.00 for one TV set and GH¢60.00 for two or more sets.
That for commercial license users is GH¢36.00 per set per annum. Repairers pay GH¢60.00 per annum, while retailers and sales outlets pay ¢240.00 per annum.
Offenders would be made to pay GH¢3,000.00 or be jailed for less than one year. It is estimated that there are six million TV sets in the country.
Nana Obuobisa mentioned the Environmental Protection Authority permit, Food and Drug Authority permit, fire certificate, Ghana Tourism Authority license, business operating permit, property rate, sanitation levy, income tax, staff social security and signboard fee as some of the taxes and levies being paid by players in the industry.
He explained that by the nature of their business they were expected to keep their clients abreast with current news and entertainment, hence the installation of TV set in every room.
“However we cannot pass on every cost to the client because doing so will make it difficult for us to attract clients or compete favourably with other destinations in the sub region,” he said.
The Head of TV License Unit at GBC, Pastor Ebenezer Botwi, explained that the license fees would help boost the operations of the state broadcaster.
“For instance it will make it possible to streamline our activities and widen our range of operation to cover other vital sectors of the affairs of the economy,” he said.
From Godfred Blay Gibbah,