The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) says it will picket at the Finance Ministry alongside other stakeholders in seven days, if the reintroduced Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) is not reversed.
The Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, in a televised interview monitored by the Daily Statesman, described the move by the government as a double slap in the faces of the citizenry, unwarranted and a move which was avoidable.
He explained that the decision to re-introduce the PSRL is not the best, especially at a time when global market prices on crude and finished products has increased.
“We woke up to the news of the NPA re-introducing the Stabilisation and Recovery Levy, and it caused a lot of anger, anger in the sense that pump prices are already going up. The least the Authority could have done and should have done was to find ways to bring down prices so as to maintain the little fluidity in the economy as far as people spending was concerned,” he said.
“Unfortunately, it looks as if the finance Ministry, who should look a bit more concerned about the plight of all of us, is now asking for PSRL of 16 pesewas per liter on petrol, 14 pesewas on diesel and 14 pesewas on LPG. And we think that this has got to be reversed within the next 7 days. If it is not reversed, I can assure that most of us and the wider Ghanaian will be forced to go and picket at the Finance Ministry,” he indicated.
The right way
According to Mr Amoah, after ordering that the charge be zeroed, the President now requests that it be paid three months later; “in the meantime, the use of that money has long since expired due to the price deregulation regime.”
He said that the government should have come before Parliament for the required steps to be made to collect the funds that would be utilised to pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel oil (RFO).
“If you need money to subsidise premix and RFO, go back to Parliament and ask for appropriate legislation to be made so that if it is 3 pesewas or 6 pesewas, Parliament will grant you to collect to subsidise premix and RFO that will be it. But continuously charging the trotro driver, the average Ghanaian, the doctor to pay you 16 pesewas at a time like this is overly insensitive and this will be fiercely contested in a few days coming,” Mr Amoah noted.
The Head of Research and Development at the Institute for Energy Security (IES), Fritz Moses, said his outfit is concerned, and believes essentially that the timing for the re-introduction of the PSRL is very wrong.
In his view, the government should have considered other means such as revenue from the sales of crude oil to handle the payment of the subsidies of premix fuel and RFOs and not necessarily re-introduce the PSRL.
The NPA notice
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) in a press release on Monday announced its decision to restore the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies (PSRL) on petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) products which was effective yesterday.
President Akufo-Addo had directed the NPA to extend the removal of the PSRL on petrol, diesel, and LPG to the end of January. Following the exhaustion of the grace period, the NPA has restored the PSRLs.
The restored PSRL is 16 pesewas per litre on petrol, 14 pesewas per litre on diesel, and 14 pesewas per kilogram on LPG.
According to the NPA, the zeroing of the PSRL cannot be extended any further considering it remains the source of revenue for the payment of the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO).
Thus an attempt to extend the suspension of PSRL further would “negatively affect the payment of subsidies to the suppliers of these products, and threaten their continuous supply to customers.”
“All Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketing Companies (LPGMCs) are to take note of the above and apply them in their PBU accordingly,” the NPA stated.