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09.10.2013 General News

TUC's threat is a misdirection- Ayariga

By Daily Graphic
TUC's threat is a misdirection- Ayariga
LISTEN OCT 9, 2013

The Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Mahama Ayariga, on Wednesday said the ultimatum by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to government to review tariff increments was misdirected.

He said the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) was an independent entity that had the mandate to carry out its own tariff adjustment and therefore shifting the threat to demonstrate from them to government was inappropriate.

Mr Ayariga, who spoke at a media briefing at the Flagstaff House, urged the TUC to review their threat and dialogue with the PURC.

Last week the PURC came out with new tariffs for water and electricity, pushing the TUC and other organized groups to raise red flags, stating that such increments could worsen the living conditions of Ghanaians at all levels of society.

Mr Ayariga said Ghana had gained respect and recognition on account of her democratic credentials, good governance and rule of law and it was therefore expedient for the TUC to allow the rule of law to prevail in all sectors.

He said the utility companies were facing a lot of financial challenges and therefore increasing their tariffs was a step in the right direction as government and private partners were unable to adequately resource them to carry out their mandate for the country.

He said as much as government was ready to offer subsidies to ameliorate the plight of Ghanaians, it would rather give those subsidies in the areas of education, health and agriculture since providing subsidies on energy would mostly benefit the affluent in society than the vulnerable.

On industry, Mr Ayariga appealed to the industries to collaborate with government to carry out energy audits that would enable them to use energy efficient machinery to reduce production cost.

The Minister said the private sector that had over the years expressed interest in the utility sector would not like to run at a loss as their major business objective was to break even.

He gave the assurance that government would increase economic growth by investing massively in agriculture, tourism and energy to whip up the enthusiasm of the business community and investors to increase their stake in the economy.

GNA

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