Business News of Wednesday, 7 February 2018
A former CEO of the VRA, Dr. Charles Wereko Brobby has impressed on government to scrap the Special Petroleum Tax in order to relieve consumers of the burden of escalating petroleum prices.
He maintains that consumers will continue to bear the brunt of the price hikes despite attempts to review the mode of calculating the tax.
Dr. Wereko Brobby’s comments follow the National Petroleum Authority (NPA)’s claims justifying the continuous imposition of the Special Petroleum Tax despite appeals to remove it.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Dr. Brobby said, “What happened in 2016 was very simple, because crude oil prices had gone down, the then Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper introduced the special petroleum tax. At the time, many people complained against it including the current Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Petroleum.”
The NPP government criticized the former Mahama administration of imposing what it described as nuisance taxes on consumers.
In an attempt to reverse the trend, the NPP administration reduced the Special Petroleum Tax by 2.5 percent.
The tax dropped from 17.5% to 15%.
But this has not gone down well with industry watchers who believe the removal of the tax will bring great relief to consumers.
Dr. Wereko Brobby also explains that removing the tax will be prudent in regulating operations in the sector.
“The NPP itself condemned the policy…the idea of reduction is not tenable; what was put in to cream off reductions that were properly due to the people should be given back and now it is getting even worse because as prices go up, the percentages are going up and it is just giving a worse effect. So none of the suggestions are tenable I should say,” he added.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 embarked on a demonstration to demand the removal of the SPT and the petroleum price stabilization levy.
The exercise culminated in the presenting of a petition to the Ministries of Energy and Finance.