General News of Thursday, 8 January 2015
Energy think tank, the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has described as “irrelevant,” President Mahama’s proposal for a new levy to be slapped on petroleum products.
According to ACEP, the introduction of a new tariff on fuel products will only worsen the plight of the Ghanaian.
President Mahama recommended that the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) considers what he described as a “mitigation levy” on petroleum products.
According to him, the tax will accumulate the windfalls to cushion consumers, should these prices begin to rise again.
“I think we need a mitigation levy so we can save for the future. I say this because the price of oil on the world market will certainly rise again. I feel that Parliament has to sit down and decide when we will save money accrued from the excess recovery. We can just decide to put in the mitigation fund to reduce the effect of another increment on Ghanaians,” he said.
However, speaking in an interview with Citi News, the Director of Programmes at ACEP, Benjamin Boakye insisted his proposal was irrelevant.
“I am saying it is not relevant because you cannot manipulate oil prices from Ghana and you cannot save so much to be able to mitigate future price rise, so what you do is to allow the market to dictate the prices.”
“In other jurisdictions, what you do is that world prices rise so much above what people can bear you rather try to cushion people by reducing taxes on the product; but in our case, we decided to take more taxes and after taking more taxes, we are proposing another fund to get more from customers and as consumers that is not fair,” he said.
The price of Brent crude oil has fallen to a new five-and-a-half year low of $52.27 per barrel, its lowest level since May 2009.
Meanwhile, prices of petroleum products in Ghana have been reduced by 10%.