General News of Monday, 4 January 2016
The New Year increase in the prices of petroleum products at the pump has been greeted by widespread public condemnation due to the anticipated effect on cost of goods and services.
Luv News’ visit to some transport stations in the Kumasi metropolis revealed some commercial vehicle operators are yet to effect changes in transport fares.
Speaking with David Akuetteh on the maiden edition of Luv FM’s Burning Issues, local segment of the Super Morning Show, a driver at local taxi station at Asokwa lamented the latest increase will badly affect business.
“We don’t make enough money from the business and we are always forced to use the little we make to buy fuel. It is having a heavy toll on us. We are waiting on the GPRTU executives to come out with the new fares before we increase our transport fares. We the taxi drivers are losing most of our passengers to commercial buses”. A taxi driver has told Luv News.
Political party representatives who spoke on the programme, as usual, took opposing stance on the issue.
First was the former Ashanti Regional Deputy Minister, Joseph Yamin who justified government’s decision to introduce the Petroleum Sector Levy which resulted in the fuel price hikes.
He said public outcry over the price increases is well expected.
In a response, Gideon Boako, a former Ashanti Regional Youth Organizer of the NPP, observed government’s penchant for increasing taxes is the reason for the wave of agitation across the country.
“We just exited the Christmas break and it is not uncommon for people to have made a lot spending during the season. People don’t have money and the last thing government would want to do in a New Year is to increase the prices of petroleum products. Government is only being callous with this decision”. He fired.
Executive Director of the Ghana Institute of Governance and Security, David Agbee, described the period for the implementation as ill-timed.
“It is politically imprudent for government to increase the prices of petroleum products especially going into an election year. This is not a tactful decision. People tend to punish government in election year based on its policies and programmes so government needs to weigh its options well. Government should take decisions that benefit its people and not the other way around,” Mr. Agbee explained.