The Minority in Parliament has demanded the immediate removal of three taxes on petroleum products to mitigate the impact of rising prices of crude oil on the international market.
Edward Bawa, a member of the Mines and Energy Committee, predicted that fuel prices may hit 9 cedis per litre in the next pricing window, which begins on March 16th, if the government does not heed calls to remove taxes such as the Energy Sector Levy, Sanitation and Pollution Levy, and Special Petroleum Levy.
He said should the price hit 9 cedis, “everything will come to a halt.”
According to him, even though Ukraine’s crisis may have contributed to the rise in the prices of petroleum products, the increase started before the invasion of that country by Russia.
“Ukraine may have aggravated the situation, but I am just saying that in that particular case, it is a blessing in disguise. So while we complain about the prices at the local level, we are also always smiling to the Bank because of the monies we get from selling the product, so it’s a win-win situation in my opinion,” he added.
The Bongo MP also tasked the Bank of Ghana to take steps to arrest the depreciation of the cedi which he argues is compounding the hike in fuel prices.
The Minority in Parliament has also served notice that it will haul the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, before the House to present government’s response plan to end the hikes in fuel prices.
According to the Minority, the Finance Ministry has the authority to remove some taxes that contribute to the final ex-pump fuel prices.
In less than two weeks, the prices of diesel and petrol have increased by over 30 per cent and are selling at GH¢8.29 at the pumps.
Meanwhile, the Head of Pricing at the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Abass Ibrahim Tasunti, has stated that the NPA has presented some proposals to Cabinet for consideration.
“We have made some recommendations to the government as to what it can do, but it all depends on the government’s fiscal space. For us, we look at what can be done to look at the laws available to us.
“Of all the taxes, which one could have been touched? From the law, the Price and Stabilisation and Recovery Levy is the one that could have been used to support the consumer. Our work is to make sure there is fair pricing,” he stated.