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Minority urges government to scrap special petroleum tax

Author: Getrude Ankah Nyavi

The Minority in Parliament have added their voices to calls to abolish the Special Petroleum Tax blamed for the geometric increases in prices of petroleum products.

According to them, the tax has outlived its relevance because the reasons behind its introduction in 2015 are no longer applicable. “The purpose is no more relevant and we want to urge the government to take it off.”
 
Speaking on Accra-based Citi FM, the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adam Mutawakilu said “The National Democratic Congress (NDC) government introduced it because fuel prices dropped as low as $28 a barrel (on the world market) and government needed to fill in the gaps.”
 
He said the tax constitutes about 49 to 50 percent of the price build up of petroleum products, adding that life has become unbearable for Ghanaians because of that.
 
In line with its promise to review and abolish nuisance taxes, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) reviewed the Special Petroleum Tax downward from 17.5 percent to 15 percent in the 2017 budget.
 
But prices of some petroleum products went up between 8 and 11 percent for the first pricing window in January.
 
This led to some commercial drivers on Wednesday hitting the streets of Accra to protest against what they say are rampant increases in the price of petroleum products in the country.
 
The demonstrating drivers from the Concern Drivers’ Union, True Drivers ‘Union, VIP, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana and the Ghana Importers Association called on the government to immediately reduce taxes on petroleum products or face the wrath of drivers in the country.