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11.03.2009 Politics

Drops in fuel prices cosmetic: DFP

By myjoyonline
Drops in fuel prices cosmetic: DFP

The Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) has described as cosmetic government's downward review of petroleum prices.

Government on Monday March 9 announced a 3-10 percent slash in taxes on petroleum products leading to marginal drops in fuel prices.

But the general secretary of the DFP Mr Bede Ziedeng told Joy FM's Seth Kwame Boateng on Wednesday that the president erred in reviewing the taxes.

“Industry will benefit from it but the larger majority of Ghanaians will not benefit from it,” he stressed.

He chided the president for the downward review, stressing the action amounted to sheer hypocrisy.

Mr Ziedeng stated that with the Kufuor government reducing fuel prices late last year, President Mills should have threaded cautiously.

He expressed disappointment at the 2009 budget adding that there is no indication that the government's fiscal policy for the year could in the interim mitigate the plight of Ghanaians.

Mr Ziedeng stated that although the budget was presented in an optimistic tone, it missed out on specific measures to stop the depreciation of the cedi against the major international currencies.

He also stressed that the Finance Minister Dr Kwabena Duffuor had failed to outline programmes to reduce the annual rate of inflation which currently holds stubbornly at 19.5 percent.

The DFP believes government must now step up efforts to shore up the economy and maintain relative stability before embarking on such drives that will deplete the national coffers.

“It is only when your economic environment is stable that other people will be attracted to invest in the economy,” Mr Zeideng told Joy News.

Finance Minister Dr Duffour has already warned that the reduction in fuel prices would lead to a $50 million loss to government in nine months.

Story by Fiifi Koomson