Scrap petroleum tax to provide relief – Minority

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The Minority NDC Caucus in Parliament has called on the Government to scrap the Special Petroleum Tax on petroleum products in the 2022 Budget to provide some relief to Ghanaians.

It said crude oil price, with a benchmark price of US$54.75 per barrel in the 2021 Budget, had risen to over US$85, representing an increment of over 55 per cent.

“As a net exporter of crude oil, Ghana’s revenue receipts from petroleum exports are, therefore, expected to increase from the initially projected figure of US$800 million to over US$1.2 billion.”

“What this means is that the nation is making huge unanticipated revenues from crude exports, hence the need to abolish the Special Petroleum Tax to ameliorate the suffering of the ordinary Ghanaian,” Mr John Jinapor, the Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee, said.

At a press conference by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Caucus on the recent fuel price hikes, he said within a space of one year fuel prices had risen from 4.77 cedis to 6.8 cedis per litre, representing a 43 per cent increment.

“The recent astronomical increases in fuel prices at the pumps and its attendant high cost of living for Ghanaians cannot be glossed over,” Mr Jinapor said.

He said despite the introduction of a sanitation levy of 10 pesewas per litre on fuel, the country continued to be engulfed in filth with poor management of garbage across the towns and cities.

He, therefore, called for a review of the sanitation levy by resorting to the “polluter pay mechanism,” which was a more pragmatic way of managing the waste.

Mr Jinapor also called on government to immediately reconstitute the Board of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and appoint a substantive Managing Director to ensure the refinery processed domestic crude oil to its fullest capacity.

He said as a result of poor management, the Tema Oil Refinery was is on the verge of collapse adding that its current state left much to be desired.

The group rejected the decision by government to turn the refinery into a tank farm, saying that with the right polices, the refinery could be turned around to fulfil the purpose for its establishment.

Mr Jinapor said the Atuabo Gas processing plant currently supplied over 30 percent of the nation’s domestic Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) requirements but the cost of LPG continued to be high, compelling some would-be consumers to resort to biomass such as wood-fuel, cow-dung and charcoal as their primary source of fuel.

He, therefore, urged the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to take the necessary steps to withdraw the taxes imposed on LPG during the presentation of the 2022 Budget.

“Failure to do so shall compel the Minority to use every legitimate parliamentary means to ensure the right thing is done,” he said.

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