21.04.2005 General News

Increase in price of fuel, a necessary evil

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Akim Oda, April 21, GNA-The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah has said the recent increase in the prices of petroleum products was "necessary to ensure that the economy was not thrown out of gear". He said no nation could develop without the sacrifice of its citizens adding, "those who are criticizing us are not thinking of the development of the county."

Mr Barimah was addressing the Birim South Peoples Assembly at Akim Oda on Wednesday.

He said contrary to the views of opponents of the government, the petroleum deregulation policy would not necessarily lead to price hike of fuel.

Mr Barimah explained that under the policy, more private companies would be involved in the marketing of petroleum products, making it difficult for one company to arbitrarily increase prices. He said the National Petroleum Tender Board would also ensure that the companies sell the products at reasonable prices.

The acting Birim South District Chief Executive, Mr Yaw Amprofi announced that the assembly had so far received 4.6 billion cedis as HIPC relief fund, which had been used to improve education, health, water supply and sanitation in the area.

The Queen of the Akim Kotoku Traditional Area, Nana Akua Asantewaa III called on the authorities handling the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), to intensify public education on the scheme to encourage more people to join the NHIS.

She also urged opinion leaders and organisations to assist in sensitising the public, especially, the youth on HIV/AIDS. Participants at the assembly appealed to the government to tackle the problem of high cost of building materials and farming tools such as cement and cutlasses.

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