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16.02.2005 General News

PNC protests about sped of deregulation

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Accra, Feb. 16, GNA - The People's National Convention (PNC) on Wednesday expressed its unhappiness at the manner in which the government is "accelerating its plans to privatise the pricing policy of petroleum products" and asked for "critical discussions" on the policy. "It is regrettable that while the government appears to recognise the critical role the price of petroleum products plays in the overall economy of our country, the real consultations, which have so far been held on this policy have been with the Breton Woods institutions," it said in a statement in Accra.

The PNC said these institutions were "obviously excited" about the willingness of the government to hand over the pricing of petroleum prices to market forces just as they have convinced the NPP and NDC governments into "unbridled privatisation" of every sector.

"It is unfortunate that this privatisation, just like other programmes advocated by the Breton Woods institutions, has not received any real broad-based consultation within the Ghanaian society before being adopted.

"We therefore, wish to re-state our party's position of the selective subsidies in critical sectors of our national economy and reject the unbridled privatisation of our economy."

The PNC said it believes that a gradual approach to cost recovery ought to be adopted to be preceded by sustained and well planned measures specifically directed at cushioning the poor sections of the population.

It called for a well-planned and efficient bus and rail system both for urban poor and linking the rural areas to the major cities.

"We therefore, call on the government of the NPP to open up consultation with the trade unions, farmers' organizations, small industrialists, political parties and identifiable civil society organizations for a more acceptable road map to be drawn for any policy change in the pricing of petroleum products to reflect national interests."

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