23.04.2005 Regional News

TDCL urges the government to review prices of petroleum products

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Tema, April 23, GNA -- The Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) has added its voice to the call on the government to review downward prices of petroleum products by reverting to the 36 percent taxes as it was in 2003.

It says it does not find any justification for the government to increase its tax on petroleum products from 36 percent in 2003, to 42 percent in 2005 since the percentages are applied on ex-refinery price. It has therefore asked the government to abolish the social mitigating tax on premium petrol whiles it applies a special pricing method on kerosene and LPG to meet the packets of the poor Ghanaian.

The TDCL has threatened to advise itself on the next line of action to take if the government does not act swiftly on these concerns. In a nine point resolution signed by its Chairman, Wilson Agana and Secretary, Mohammed Baba Tairo, at its regular general meeting in Tema, the Council also asked that the government "suspend the anticipated increase in utility tariffs until remedies have been found to mitigate the economic effects as a result of price hike of petroleum products". It also asked the Tripartite Committee to reconvene and consider the level of the minimum wage and suggested the introduction of 'cola' as a means to cushion the effect of the economic hardship. The council has the view that the 50 percent increase in fuel prices has effect on utility tariffs and unfavourable income tax concessions and therefore said the minimum wage that has now been increased to 13,000 cedis as inadequate.

"The economic hardship on the people may breed corruption, low productivity, low morals, increase in school dropouts and as well promote other social vices", it added. 23 April 05

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