The Alliance for Accountable Government (AFAG) has described the recent tariff increases announced by the Public Utilities and regulatory Commission (PURC) as insensitive, needless and baseless.
In a statement issued in Accra, it noted: ‘There is neither a commonsensical nor economic basis for this increment. Clearly it seems the PURC has become a tool for the oppression of business and domestic consumers.’
It said at a time when businesses were laying workers off, it was shocking that PURC would endorse an increment.
The group said Coca Cola has laid off 500 workers with other lay-offs happening in other companies unannounced as a result of the erratic power supply.
‘Consumers are already paying market price for utilities with no commensurate services from operators. for the past six years the excuse for price hikes has always been to improve services but shockingly, all increases have resulted in poor service.
‘The PURC should put its thinking cap on and reckon that any such increases without fixing ‘dumsor’ are going to raise operating cost of businesses and would lead to further lay-offs and consequently affects the larger economy.’
It therefore called on Civil Society, political parties, Trade Unions, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), among others, to show unity and kick against the increases.
Meanwhile, the PURC has defended the 2.63% tariff increment it slapped on electricity consumers, saying it was intended to assist the electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) manage the ongoing load shedding exercise.
It said the increment would help ECG buy the needed equipment to effectively run the current load management system.
In the second quarter Automatic Adjustment formula (AAF), the PURC arrived at an actual increase of 31.73 cumulative for electricity and 21.30% for water, but the Commission, using the Decision Variable, decided to pass on the minimal tariff increase of 2.63 percent for electricity and 1.06 percent for water due the erratic power supply in the country.
Nana Yaa Jantuah, the Commission’s Pro said, it took the decision in the best interest of ECG.
She said since the tariffs remained unchanged for a long time, the ECG has adversely been affected.
GWCL was denied a 4.54% Water Tariff increase as a form of a penalty during the fourth quarter of 2014 due to the non-compliance with regulatory Directive.
By Samuel Boadi
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