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28.03.2012 General News

Remove ex-refinery levy on petroleum products - Appeal court orders NPA

By Daily Graphic
Remove ex-refinery levy on petroleum products - Appeal court orders NPA
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The Court of Appeal has ordered the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to, with immediate effect, remove ex-refinery levies imposed on petroleum products.

It further directed the NPA to account for all moneys accrued on the levy and pay the amount into the Consolidated Fund.

Dismissing the NPA's application for stay of execution of a High Court order which had directed it in November 2011 to remove levies imposed on petroleum products, the court, in a unanimous decision, held that the NPA failed to convince it to stay the lower court's order.

The court, presided over by Justice Henrietta Abban, with Justices F. Kusi-Appiah and E. K. Ayebi as panel members, also held that the NPA's application for stay was devoid of merit.

It also awarded costs of GH¢500 against the NPA in favour of Development Data, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which had contested the legality of the levy at the High Court.

A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the substantive appeal, which is praying the court to dismiss, in its entirety, the lower court's decision which directed the NPA to remove ex-refinery levies imposed on petroleum products.

The High Court, in November 2011, ruled as illegal the ex-refinery levy which had been part of the petroleum price build-up.

It, accordingly, ordered the NPA to scrap the levy and also refund all amounts accrued from the collection of the illegal levy to be paid into the Consolidated Fund.

It further directed the NPA to publish the total amount collected from the illegal imposition.

Dissatisfied with the lower court's decision, the NPA filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal and filed an application for stay of execution of the lower court's order, pending the outcome of the substantive appeal.

However, the Court of Appeal, after carefully perusing documents filed by parties in the matter, upheld the decision by the High Court in that illegal price margins disguised as “ex-refinery differential” should be knocked off the fuel prices.

The High Court had, in January 2012, refused an application to stay execution of its earlier order.


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