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15.02.2005 General News

NDC calls for review of petroleum de-regulation policy

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Accra, Feb. 15, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Tuesday called for the review of the petroleum de-regulation policy so that its implementation would not adversely affect the well being of Ghanaians and businesses.

A statement Mr Bede Ziedeng, Acting General Secretary of the Party, signed in Accra said: "The NDC views the planned petroleum products price increases as not only being inimical to the economic well-being of the average Ghanaian but will adversely affect businesses."

It said: "The NDC will stand on the side of the ordinary people to resist measures that will worsen the already bad economic situation."

It said it had followed the ongoing speculation in sections of the media on the anticipated increase in the price of petroleum products and had viewed the move as "part of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government's propaganda meant to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians. "The sinister motive behind the speculations is that in the event that petroleum product price increases to be announced shortly, fall short of figures being speculated in the press, the NPP spin-doctors will then take to the field to create the impression that the Government has been sensitive to the hardships facing Ghanaians."

It said the Minister of Energy Professor Mike Oquaye when being vetted by the Parliamentary Appointment Committee had said the issue of de-regulation and consequential price increase would be subjected to public debate.

The NDC said the promise had been thrown overboard and Ghanaians were "now being told different stories to justify pending fuel price increases".

It said the Government was shifting responsibility of fuel price determination to Oil Marketing Companies under the so-called de-regulation policy the IMF and the World Bank had foisted on it.

"It is obvious that whatever price increases the Government announces will be just the tip of the iceberg, and there will be further increases in the coming months all of which will exacerbate the cost of living", the statement said.

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