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02.03.2005 NDC News

Gov’t etwa ntoro - NDC

By GYE NYAME CONCORD

... as it embarks on Wahala Demo tomorrow THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress, (NDC) believes the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been telling tall tales on its claim that it has been subsidizing the price of petroleum products.

It has therefore challenged the Kufuor administration to explain to Ghanaians how it subsidised fuel prices before the recent hike in the price of fuel products.

The party has consequently announced its intention to organise a peaceful demonstration in conjunction with other stakeholders in protest against what it termed, “the cruel and insensitive economic policies” of the NPP government.

Dubbed: “Wahala March”, the demonstration is expected to start at 8am at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and will go through the central business district and end up at Parliament House, where a petition is expected to be presented to the Speaker.

In a statement, Mr. Nestor Hoeyi, NDC Press Secretary said the demonstration was to tell the government about the hardships its economic policies have imposed on the people.

It asked workers, students, farmers, traders and others to join the demonstration “to reject the vampire, economic policies of President Kufuor's government”.

Among the policies the NDC has a problem with, is government's claim that it hiked the prices of petroleum products to halt its continuous subsidization, which was a drain on the economy.

Leading NDC economist and one time Secretary of Fuel and Power in the PNDC regime, Mr. Ato Ahwoi, who schooled journalists on his party's position on the issue at an NDC press conference last week, accused the NPP administration of being insincere on the subsidy.

Speaking at the NDC press confab, Ahwoi demanded that government tell Ghanaians the real truth behind its reason for the price hike instead of misleading people on the issue.

He said the hike in prices was primarily aimed at generating revenue.

“As you go through the petroleum price build-up you realise that all this hype about a subsidy which has to be removed, is not true because the taxes which are being collected is so much that, why are they saying that they are subsidising petrol?” he asked.

“You cannot in one sense collect tax from a place and at the same time say you are subsidising that thing; it is not possible. All I am saying is that if the government wants to use petrol as a revenue generating measure it should come out clearly and say so, it should not throw dust into our eyes and say that they are removing subsidies. There are no subsidies to remove…” he said.

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