National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi has called for the removal of some taxes on petroleum products.
In his view, the taxes, including 10 pesewas Sanitation and Pollution tax, BOST Margin, Special Petroleum Tax, are not needed at the moment.
Speaking in an interview with TV3’s Roland Walker on Wednesday March 23, Sammy Gyamfi said “Some of the taxes don’t make sense. In this time of economic difficulty we should not be paying a 10 pesewas sanitation and pollution, I call it ‘borla’ levy, on a litre of diesel and petrol, we don’t need a BOST margin of 9 pesewas.
“Most of these taxes, 80 to 90 per cent of these taxes are not needed now. Special Petroleum Tax, former President Mahama introduced it at the time the international market price was going down. We said we were going to collect it for just two years and when the international market prices go up, we will bring it back.
“At the time the international market price had gone down below 30 dollars and so we were losing in terms of our oil exports. Now, the prices have gone up to about 100 and 120 dollars per barrel when this year 2022, we benchmarked it at 61 dollars per barrel. if we are to scrap these taxes, I tell you, that the litre of diesel and petrol will come down by minimum ¢1.”
The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) also made similar demand in the face of rising cost of living in Ghana occasioned by hikes in fuel prices.
Secretary-General Dr Yaw Baah on Monday, March 21, in a letter to Ken Ofori-Atta and copied to his colleagues at the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations as well as Energy said many workers, particularly those on fixed salaries, are being pushed below the poverty line by the recent developments.
“The situation must be addressed without further delay, otherwise many more Ghanaians will be pushed into destitution,” Dr Baah warned in the letter.
The letter noted how fuel prices have increased astronomically since January, obviously impacting cost of living.
“We propose that Government must immediately suspend all taxes and levies on petrol, diesel, LPG, and kerosene.
“This should bring down prices of these fuel products by an average of about 15 percent.
“The suspension should remain in force until the international price of crude oil stabilises and the decline of the Cedi has been halted.”
The TUC is hopeful reduction in fuel prices will translate into price stabilisation of essential goods in the country.
“More importantly, suspending taxes and levies on these fuel products in these challenging times will demonstrate to Ghanaians that our government is sensitive to the plight of the people of Ghana.”
It also urged government to review the method of fuel pricing while demanding a rejig of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to avoid importation of crude oil.