By Bubu Klinogo.
The Minority in Parliament has accused the government of bringing undue hardship to Ghanaians through astronomical increases in petroleum products.
At a news conference in Accra, Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, John Abdulai Jinapor, said within a span of just one-year fuel prices have risen from GHC 4.77 per litre to GHC 6.8 per litre representing 43% increment under this government.
Mr. Jinapor said the Minority has taken notice of the excuse from government and its communicators that the increases are a result of increase in crude on the international market.
According to the Minority, the current state of the Ghanaian economy clearly signals complete despair, characterised by a mounting unsustainable debt level which threatens the very foundation of the economy.
Mr. Jinapor said the promise by the government to suspend the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy for just two months is a complete insult to Ghanaians as it demonstrates the government’s lack of sincerity and seriousness towards mitigating the suffering of the people.
According to him, a critical look at the price buildup of petroleum products at the pump reveals that taxes, levies and margins alone account for almost 40% of the final ex-pump price.
Mr. Jinapor proffered some suggestions. These include the suspension of the Special Petroleum Tax in the 2022 budget, a review of the sanitation levy by resorting to the polluter pay principle, as well as the immediate reconstitution of the Board of the Tema Oil Refinery and the appointment of a substantive Managing Director.
Meanwhile, former Deputy Minister of Finance and Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson has described as illegal the imposition of certain taxes on petroleum products without parliamentary approval. He called for the immediate suspension of those taxes or the minority takes every legitimate means to compel the NPA to do so.