The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has called on the government to reduce or abolish the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) levy on petroleum products.
In a statement on the recent petroleum price increases, the president of the association, Mr Wilson Atta Krofah, explained that “ in view of the fact that the government has converted the TOR debt into bonds, we think it is high time the TOR levy was abolished or reduced”.
He said it had always been the position of the chamber that the government reduced the ad valorem excise duty of 15 per cent on petroleum taxes.
The government last Friday removed the ad valorem excise duty on petroleum taxes.
Mr Krofah suggested to the government to develop alternative means of transportation such as railways and water transport.
Petroleum prices hit record levels of up to $78 per barrel, at a point, forcing the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to increase fuel prices to about ¢42,000.
The government responded by reducing the ad valoreum tax, bringing down the price to ¢40,000.
Mr Krofah said the railway network must be rehabilitated as a matter of urgency, to provide cheap and bulk transportation facilities for cargo and people around the country.
“Indeed the system must be extended to the north to widen its coverage”, he added.
The president of the chamber again called on the government to increase the fleet of metro mass transport buses and improve their service to encourage patronage by all sections of the public.
“Government must provide tax incentives to private transport operators to attract more participation of the private sector in the road transportation business,” Mr Krofah stated.
Mr Krofah said “ as a business association, GNCCI abhors any price increase which affects the operational costs of its members and general increases in cost of living, as they impact adversely on the purchasing power of our clients and consumers”.
He said that notwithstanding, the chamber recognised that the country had to buy petroleum products at the prevailing world market prices and like prudent business operators, it was important that the country charged the right price, if the economy was to remain viable in the long-term.
Mr Krofah called for an urgent need to broaden the tax net in the country to ensure that more people contributed directly to the national tax revenue.