The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) is predicting that the latest downward review of electricity tariffs will not make any impact on the operations of manufacturing companies.
Non-residential consumers including the mines and those paying special load tariffs will enjoy a tariff reduction ranging from 10 to 30% from the 15th of March. The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has also slashed electricity tariffs for domestic consumers by 17.5 %.
But the General Secretary of the GFL Abraham Koomson said there is no need to jubilate over the announcement. He told Starr News a review of the tariffs alone will not save industry from collapse.
“That was not the only problem we asked the government to tackle. We have raised issues with high taxes, statutory levies and duties, fuel, water, raw materials, counterfeiting and smuggling. Taking one issue and making propaganda with this won’t solve the problem. You have to be holistic. If your child is going to school and brings you a list of books and then you buy one and leave the others, how do you expect your child to pass the exams? What is destroying local industry is not only about electricity tariffs. You have to be holistic. You can’t pick and choose.”
Abraham Koomson proposed to government to tackle all challenges that have increased the cost of production if it wants to attract investments and revive collapsing industries.
“The cost of even clearing goods at the ports is an issue. The cost of even raw materials is also an issue. The VAT is also a very big problem. There should be a holistic approach to dealing with the high cost of production in this country. Otherwise they should forget about it. This piecemeal thing they are doing will never help the industry.
The Ministry of Trade should assemble a team to assess what goes into production in this country. Nothing is happening to industry.”
In February The Textile, Garment and Leather Employees Union (TEGLU) demanded a 50% reduction in prices of utilities to save the sector from total collapse. It also called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, remove VAT on locally produced textile prints.