The increasing fuel prices will push workers to ask for more salaries from government within the next three months, the Executive Director of the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers of Ghana(COPEC), has predicted.
According to Mr Duncan Amoah,until government stabilizes fuel prices for consumers, workers will be unable to cope with the hardships as a result of the high fuel cost.
“So the very monies we’re seeking to collect, and the very monies we are seeking to do other things with, the people will go back for those monies from the same government. unfortunately the poor in the middle who don’t have any work to do, or an employer to seek refuge in, or seek for more monies from will suffer the most.” he told host Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM Thursday.
His comments come on the back of government’s position that it cannot reduce taxes on petroleum products anymore.
The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, at a press conference on Wednesday, gave reasons why the about ten taxes and margins on fuel prices could not be waived, insisting the taxes are in the interest of consumers.
“…When we hear calls for government to remove those nuisance taxes, we’ve removed the nuisance taxes – these are taxes, levies and statutory margins that every responsible government will ensure that [ they] will remain in the price build up to ensure efficiency, availability of products, quality of the products and to ensure that for every [petroleum] product that we consume within the country, taxes are paid on every litre of petroleum products consumed.”
But Mr. Duncan Amoah has said there are clear things to be done and some mitigating measures to be applied by government to hedge the increasing price of petrol.
“Why is it that hurricane happened in the US but a litre of fuel in the US compared to that of what is sold here is higher than in the US? Those who were directly affected by the hurricane, where the disaster knocked most of their refineries have their fuel sold relatively cheaper than ours.
“If you read the Energy Sector Levy Act,the second aspect is to be used to stabilized fuel prices for consumers. The monies were taken from the citizens, so in this difficult times aftermath the hurricane crisis, you don’t wait for petrol prices to hit 20 cedis. You’ll find a means of cushioning importers from what you collected as levies.”
“If we’d taken prudent measures, as the hurricane hit the US refineries, we would have positioned ourselves well for TOR to still work so that we won’t be in a fix to still be importing from the US. But because of bad leadership we find ourselves in a quagmire.
“Today we even produce for export more than we consume in Ghana. If petrol prices on the World market is going up, it should have been a positive effect for local market.”