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10.08.2005 General News

Govt reinstate taxes of fuel products - CJA

GNA

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA - The Committee for Joint Action (CJA) on Wednesday claimed that the Government had reinstated Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Debt Recovery Levy on fuel it reduced recently.

Mr Ato Ahwoi, a CJA leading member, told a press conference in Accra on Wednesday that the Government within the past seven days had reneged on its July 15 tax reduction.

The press conference was held for the CJA to outline the WAHALA Demonstrators position on the recent petroleum price adjustment. Mr Ahwoi stressed that the July price build up fully addressed the 30 per cent increases in crude oil prices that occurred since the last price adjustments in February this year.

The July price-build up demonstrated that the Government could recover the increased cost of importing crude oil, refining it and storing the finished petroleum products without increasing ex-pump prices, he stressed.

"Government did so by reducing the TOR debt recovery levy - one of several taxes and levies with which petroleum products are encumbered."

According to Mr Ahwoi, Government had removed all these taxes that gave a respite to the general public, restored it and increased the ex-refinery prices within one week of CJA's disclosure of the tax reduction.

Ms Boya Gariba, a CJA Member, commended the Government for reducing the prices of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene stressing: "As Ghanaians we share a sense of relief that LPG and kerosene prices have fallen significantly."

She said that should offer some relief to hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians and especially the rural poor, who depended on kerosene. However, compared to pre-February 2005 prices and certainly compared to the earnings capacity of the average Ghanaian, kerosene and LPG prices remained very high, she said.

CJA, therefore, insisted that the Government should do more to alleviate the suffering of the people.

Ms Boya debunked the assertion that the increases in petroleum and diesel were marginal, saying: "National Petroleum Authority failed to understand how downtrodden our people are today.

"The increases can only seem "marginal" when compared for example to the 50 per cent increase imposed in February or the bloated lifestyles of our politicians and leading public servants".

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