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31.07.2006 Business & Finance

CJA Hails Reduction In Petroleum Prices

By CITY NEWS
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The Committee for Joint Action (CJA) has hailed last week's cutback in the prices of Petroleum Products in the country as "positive", but says the quantum of reduction is too marginal.

In an interview with CITI NEWS, Alhaji Ramadan, a leading member of the CJA - a group hostile to fuel prices increases - said even though the move would go along way to reduce the suffering of the average Ghanaian, a further decrease in the prices of Petroleum products would be needed to save the common Ghanaian.

On Friday, government, with the approval of Parliament, abolished the ad-valorem tax of 15 per cent on petroleum products.

Moving the motion for the abolishing of the ad-valorem tax regime, Hon. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, told Parliament that a specific excise tax has been introduced to help trim down the ex-refinery prices of petroleum products.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said this was to lessen the burden of skyrocketing prices of crude oil on the world market on the Ghanaian citizenry.

On July 20, Oil Marketing Companies increased prices of petroleum products by between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, following approval given by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA).

The move, which was in response to the soaring price of crude oil on the international market, following the crisis in the Middle East - drew a barrage of attacks on government from within the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

But, surprisingly, the CJA announced that it would not pull off its traditional response of hitting the streets to demonstrate against the increases.

According to Alhaji Ramadan, the move was strategic.

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