The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Hassan Tampuli, has insisted that government cannot scrap or review taxes on petroleum products downward any further.
According to him, the taxes have been incorporated into government’s revenue projections for the year and any attempt to scrap any of them could spell doom for the current revenue structure.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday, Mr. Tampuli however added that government is putting in place measures to alleviate the plight of petroleum consumers.
“You would agree with me that government has some obligations and these obligations are based on the projected revenue and the revenues that we have accrued. These revenues include the price stabilization and recovery levy. Now that lots of revenue for the government.”
“If you are saying that we should remove completely the Special Petroleum Tax, price stabilization levy among others, then you are just asking for the collapse of the revenue as far as government projects are concerned. What government is doing is in a way responding to the needs and concerns of the Ghanaian people by reducing the price figure by 3%,” he added.
COPEC, ICU demo
The NPA CEO’s made the remark after a demonstration in Accra, organized by the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) in collaboration with the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), seeking to force the government to reduce taxes on petroleum products.
Currently, a litre of both petrol and diesel goes for GHc4.62 at some major fuel stations.
This is despite assurances from the NPA that prices will remain fairly stable at the pumps.
The NPP government while in opposition also promised to scrap some taxes on petroleum taxes it described as “nuisance” taxes.
But one year after assuming office, there has been pressure on the NPP government to honour its promises after it reviewed only a few of the taxes instead of scrapping them completely.
Response to COPEC, ICU demonstration
Responding to concerns raised by the demonstrators, Mr. Tampuli said “government is not interested in seeing that the people of Ghana go through some hardship,” hence his call that they should exercise patience.
“Whatever it is that we do, we give cushion to the Ghanaian consumers…The Minister for Energy has said it several times that government is considering different options aimed at dealing with this situation. So they should be rest assured, they have every right to demonstrate but we are saying that the reason for the demonstration is not as tenable as they want us to believe especially when the prices could have gone way higher than it has but for the intervention of government and there are records there to show,” Mr. Tampuli added.