CHAMBER OF PETROLEUM CONSUMERS-GHANA
FUEL PRICES INCREASED AS TAXES GO UP
REVERSE AND WITHDRAW THE TAX INCREASES IMMEDIATELY
Some of the leading Oil Marketing Companies ( OMCs ) across the country have increased pump prices effective yesterday 1st of September 2019.
Pump prices have shot up from the previous Ghc 5.19/litre to about Ghc 5.39/litre representing a 3.7% jump in previous figures at the pumps.
Several calls on Government over the past year to review the over burdening taxes on the petroleum price build-up has not been heeded to till date, with the excuse of Government having no control over pump prices due to the price deregulation programme currently in force.
In a rather bizarre twist however, the Finance Minister contrary to public expectation of a downward review of the crippling taxes on the petroleum price build-up, has rather through the 2019 midyear budget review increased the already choking levels of fuel taxes leading to this current increases Ghanaians are seeing at the pumps now.
We would want to appeal to the Government to be sensitive to the plight of the Ghanaian, especially drivers and all other petroleum users as most are already complaining gravely, about the already high incidence of fuel prices across pumps.
It is our considered view that, the revenue Government so desires to raise for which it is further increasing fuel taxes and by extension the hardships on Ghanaians can easily be realised from the blocking of all the needless avenues being employed currently by the fuel smuggling syndicate.
Fuel smuggling accounts for over 17% of all fuel sold within the country currently and what this implies is that Government loses close to 1/5 of all petroleum taxes and revenues as may be due it to this fuel smuggling cartel.
Ghana is known to have lost in excess of over Ghc 4 billion over the last 3 year period, thus rendering the argument of government seeking to rake in some ghc 400 million for the remaining of 2019 and Ghc 1.4 billion for the whole of 2020 with the increment in taxes completely unjustifiable.
Whiles pump prices in Ghana continue to be higher than most countries across the sub region, the attendant problems fuel price increments bring cannot be overstated aside the general hardships and economic downturns such increases portends to eveything and everyone within the country.
We believe this move at increasing fuel taxes is nothing but ill timed, ill advised and completely insensitive as its repercussions on the country and the people will far outweigh any benefits anticipated thereof from this needless increases.
We are hereby demanding without delay, an immediate reversal and withdrawal of this recent hikes in order to make way for further dialogue on the current fuel price build-up with the view to reversing the recent unfortunate trend of persistent increases, as it is serving no good aside putting lives and businesses across the country on the edge.