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Transport Fares: Government, Transport operators lock horns over rate

BY: GNA
Whereas the Coalition of Private Transport Operators proposed an increment of not less than 20 per cent, government is pushing for a 10 per cent increment
Whereas the Coalition of Private Transport Operators proposed an increment of not less than 20 per cent, government is pushing for a 10 per cent increment

The Government and commercial transport operators are holding opposing positions on what should be the appropriate rate for the increment in transport fares expected to take effect in the coming weeks.

Whereas the Coalition of Private Transport Operators proposed an increment of not less than 20 per cent, government is pushing for a 10 per cent increment, the transport operators told the Ghana News Agency after meeting with Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport on Monday, February 14, 2022.

The three-hour meeting, the second to be held in one week, ended in stalemate as both parties "held entrenched positions" Mr Abass Imoro, Head of Communications, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), who was at the meeting, said.

The Coalition had initially proposed a 30 per cent increment when it met the Minister last week Monday – a meeting, which equally ended inconclusively.

Mr Moro said after extensive deliberations on Monday evening, the Coalition agreed to reduce the rate to 20 per cent.

"The Minister said the 20 per cent is too high so we should bring it down to 10 per cent. We disagreed with that because 10 per cent is too small for us.

“After more than two hours we could not agree on anything so we have postponed the discussions to next week," he said.

Mr Imoro said the Coalition would meet with its constituents in the coming days to deliberate on the way forward ahead of next week's engagement.

The Coalition of Private Transport Operators consists of Ghana Private Road and Transport Union (GPRTU), Association of Tipper Truck Drivers, Harbor Transport Owners, Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, Ghana Committed Drivers Association, Concerned Drivers Association, Digital Drivers, Commercial motorbike riders, popularly referred to as Okada, and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, among others.

 The transport operators earlier proposed a 30 per cent increment in transport fares, citing hikes in fuel prices, spare parts and other variables as basis for the proposal.

The Coalition said a market survey it conducted recently showed that the prices of the variables that affected its operations, including spare parts and lubricants had shot up by at least 35 per cent over the period.

They said the continuous hikes in fuel prices had taken a toll on their businesses, hence the need for an upward adjustment in transport fares.

They initially appealed to the Government to scrap some taxes on petroleum products to cushion the burden on consumers and enable them sustain their businesses.

The Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PRSL), which had been suspended from November 2021 to the end of January 2022, was reintroduced this month.

Fuel prices have gone up by at least 50 pesewas per litre at the pumps since February 01, 2022. Petrol and diesel are currently being sold at an average GH₵ 7.3 and GH₵ 7.4 per litre respectively. The hike has been blamed on rising cost of Brent crude on the international market, with some analysts, projecting that fuel prices could hit GH₵8.0 per litre by March this year if the situation on the world market persisted.