Business News of Monday, 7 December 2015
The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has described as shocking, the decision by the PURC to increase utility tariffs.
The President of the Chamber, Seth Adjei Baah in an interview with Citi Business News said, “We are shocked and surprised because as at now, most people are not breaking even, and I know places people are contemplating shutting down.”
The PURC on Monday announced a 59.2 percent and 67.2 percent increase in the prices of water and electricity respectively.
This was however against a proposed increase of 128.6 percent by the ECG and a 400.2 percent increase by the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).
Industry players and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) had opposed the move saying it will be ill-timed for the commission to increase utility prices without an improvement in the quality of service to consumers.
Mr. Adjei Baah also feared the move is likely to compel businesses to collapse. Already some companies have laid off workers as a result of irregular power supply.
“To raise electricity prices by over 50 percent and water by over 60 percent, tells us that we should stop doing manufacturing and fold our arms. It is quite unfortunate, and we think it is indirectly collapsing our businesses.”
According to the PURC, it put into consideration a number of factors including cedi-dollar exchange rate, growth in demand, consumer interest and availability of the service among others before going ahead with the increment.
But Seth Adjei Baah insists the reasons notwithstanding, the move will make businesses noncompetitive.
“We are talking about consuming made in Ghana goods, and it comes with prices; and these are the indications that are going to add up to the cost so that we do not become competitive. If that is happening, then we have a challenge on our hands,” he observed.