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22
Wed, Nov

AGI Cautions govt on collapse of businesses

­The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has cautioned the government against the  collapse of businesses following the nine per cent increment in prices of petroleum products.

According to the association, the increment has come at a time when businesses are struggling to sustain their operations, let alone make profit.

In a statement, the President of AGI, Mr James Asare-Adjei, called on the government to urgently “take steps to prevent business activities from grinding to a halt”.

Background

The NPA last Sunday increased the prices of petroleum products by nine per cent.

With the upward review in prices, premium will now sell at GH¢3.33 per litre, instead of GH¢3.05, while a litre of diesel, which was sold at GH¢2.97, is now GH¢3.24.

According to the NPA, recent occurrences on the world market have affected the prices of petroleum.

The last time the NPA increased fuel prices was on November 19, 2014, following the imposition of a 17.5 per cent tax on petroleum products which resulted in a three per cent increase in petroleum prices.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper, had submitted a bill to Parliament requesting the approval of a special petroleum tax policy which would see the introduction of 17.5 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

Parliament approved the 17.5 per cent Special Petroleum Tax bill.

The last ex-pump price review was also made on January 1, 2015, which was a 10 per cent reduction.

Businesses under pressure

According to the AGI, “Businesses are currently under serious pressure from the 22 per cent policy rate, erratic power supply, cedi depreciation and the difficulty in accessing bank credit, among others.”

“Businesses can hardly survive under these conditions,” the statement further stated.

It noted that Ghana was rapidly losing its competitiveness to other sub-regional economies.

“Business operators across the country currently buy fuel at a high cost to run their generators, and this would increase the cost of doing business,” the AGI said in the statement.