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09.06.2009 NPP News

NPP's economic mess is to blame for petroleum price hikes -Okudzeto

By myjoyonline
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Deputy Information Minister, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the total mess in the economy is responsible for the new petroleum price hikes announced by government.

“The economy is in such a shambolic mess that government could not subsidize prices of petrol any longer.”

Government on Friday announced 30 per cent price hikes for all petroleum products ending days of conflicting signals.

Mr. Ablakwa claims the huge debts left behind by the New Patriotic Party left government no choice than to heed to the 30 percent price adjustment proposed by the National Petroleum Authority.

He maintained figures on the economy put out by government in its 2009 budget was not reflective of the true state of the economy, since emerging details indicate the situation is worse than was announced.

According to him, Ghana's budget deficit is inching close to 18 per cent, higher than the 15 per cent announced in February.

He was responding to criticisms that the new prices were too expensive in an interview with Citi News on Monday.

He said the president was reluctant in accepting the upward adjustment but was cowed by the harsh economic reality on the ground.

He dismissed claims that government rode on the back of lies to win political power from the NPP.

He explained the NDC during its campaign agitated for a reduction in petroleum taxes, which was discounted, adding the president , John Evans Atta Mills has since honoured its promise to reduce taxes on petroleum.

Without the reduction in Taxes, Mr. Ablakwa maintains the prices could be worse.

He expressed shock over allegations that government influenced prices of the petroleum products, insisting, the pricing followed a policy framework set-out by the NPA.

Story by Nathan Gadugah/Myjoyonline

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