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20.02.2006 General News

Demo against recent fuel increase tomorrow

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Accra Feb. 20, GNA - The Committee for Joint Action (CJA) on Monday called on Ghanaians to join the Anti-Representation of People Amendment Bill (ROPAB) demonstration scheduled for Tuesday February 21, 2006 to protest against the recent fuel price increases.

"Clearly the Government is becoming more and more insensitive and only decisive action on the part of all democratic forces and civil society can arrest the situation," a statement sign by Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Member of Parliament for Tamale South on behalf of the CJA said.

The statement said Ghanaians were being stretched to a breaking point by the economic policies of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government and it was time to intensify the struggle to make the Government to respond to the plight of the mass of the Ghanaian people. The latest increases in fuel prices, the statement said was bound to have an adverse effect on industry and businesses in general, further the increases cannot be absorbed by commercial drivers and thus the burden would be passed on to passengers and persons engaged in haulage of goods.

The economic hardship and deprivation of the Ghanaian would be accentuated, the CJA said, and noted that the new petroleum products prices would reduce the purchasing power of the Ghanaian worker and eventually lead to demands for wages and salary adjustments. The CJA maintained that there was no justification for any petroleum product price increases now and any increases in the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) ex-refinery cost attributable to crude oil price increase could be absorbed by Government reducing the taxes on petroleum product. The statement said the fact that crude oil prices had hit a level of 68 dollars per barrel for just two days in the month of January did not provide justification for increasing petroleum product prices considering that previous prices were based on an average of 65 dollars per barrel of crude oil.

The CJA reiterated its stand that taxes on petroleum products were too high and should be reduced to give relief to the over burdened taxpayer.

It added that there was evidence that the high tax burden imposed on the Ghanaian by the NPP Government was being misapplied and misused by the Government and its functionaries.

The National Petroleum Authority on 17 February 2006 increased prices of petroleum products. A gallon of premium petrol is now 34,850 cedis from 31,800 cedis, representing of 9.59 per cent increase.

A gallon of diesel is 32,000 cedis instead of 28,950 cedis, an increase of 10.54 per cent; kerosene now sells at 24,500 cedis a gallon from 22,000 cedis, while Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is 80,000 cedis per 14.5 kilogramme-sized cylinders instead of 74,999.95 cedis. Kerosene thus registered a percentage increase of 11.38 cent, while LPG is up by 6.67 per cent.

The price of premix gasoline is now up by five per cent to 21,000 cedis from 20,000 cedis.