Oil importers could set their own petroleum price by December -Gov’t


Importers and marketers of petroleum products could be allowed to fix their own prices by the end of the year, Government has said.

It is an idea that will form part of a deregulation policy aimed at bringing in more private sector players.

Deputy minister of petroleum Ben Dagadu disclosed this at the annual general meeting of the chamber of bulk oil distribution.

He says a committee has been set up to discuss the option.

But Chief Executive of the Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors Senyo  Hosi says he is still skeptical about the implementation of this policy.

According to him, the liberalization of the pricing of oil has already began because the Central Bank no longer underwrites forex supply.

He says the National Petroleum Authority therefore, has no basis to determine prices.

Over the years, Government has through the Bank of Ghana guaranteed the supply of forex for oil imports — and has also underwritten forex under-recoveries that result from same.

Mounting debt from such under-recoveries have however made government weary, and it is beginning to introduce tough measures to disentangle itself.

While the BoG is withdrawing from issuing guarantees for the supply of forex to the industry, the Finance Ministry has also said it will no longer entertain claims for forex losses — asking companies to claim such losses as allowable expenses under the income tax laws.

The oil importers are currently claiming some ¢2.1billion from government as under-recoveries or losses, while government claims to have settled all outstanding debts it owes them.

The Bulk Oil Distributors have said they prefer a liberalised market regime, whereby the NPA would no longer intervene in pricing.


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