Kwaku Kwarteng, the Deputy Finance Minister has reassured Ghanaians that fuel prices will go down further following the passage of amendments to tax laws governing the petroleum sector.
He made this statement in relation to Institute for Energy Security (IES) projection that Fuel prices will fall by about 3% in the second pricing window of this month [March 2017].
The IES’s made this projection after a drop-in Brent crude, gasoline and gas oil prices on the world market.
Parliament yesterday approved for the removal and reduction of the Special Petroleum Tax, the Excise tax, and others by passing the Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, on Special Petroleum Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Special Import Levy(Amendment)Bill,2017 and Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) (Repeal) Bill,2017 to give government the legal backing to implement its programmes enumerated in the budget. This amendment which are yet to be approved by the President are in fulfilment of the NPP’s promise to get rid of ‘nuisance’ taxes.
Speaking to BFTonline, Kwaku Kwarteng who also doubles as the MP for Obuasi West Constituency said consumers of petroleum products will soon see the effects of the amendments at the pump.
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He stated, “we should see some significant effects in the price of fuel in the country soon, especially at the pump. This is because the special Petroleum Tax and the Customs and Excise tax on petroleum with its levies have all be removed and some reduced. Am unable to tell how much that will be because we are operating a deregulated regime in the petroleum downstream sector, with individuals that sell these petroleum products choosing how much to sell their products. But what these interventions are seeking to achieve is to reduce government's contribution to the price build-up."
“So, the special petroleum tax that has been reduced from 17.5% to 15% would bring some relief, the excise duty tax that has been abolished would also bring some relief. In the area of electricity tariff, the reduction of the national electrification levy will bring some relief, the reduction of public lighting levy would bring some relief as well,” he added.
Fuel prices since the beginning of 2017 have seen a gradual increase between 4% and 11% due to the volatility of the country’s local currency which has led to an unwarranted increase in transport fares that are against GPRTU directives.