Social-Drivers-Strike

Drivers begins sit down strike to push for petroleum taxes removal

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Commercial transport operators in the country began a sit down strike beginning Monday morning to push the government to scrap taxes on the pump price of petroleum products.

A statement released here over the weekend by the Coalition of Commercial Transport Operators said the scrapping of the taxes would ease the burden on Ghanaians.

“In pursuance of the directives of the coalition of commercial transport operators in Ghana and all branches and locals of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Northern Region and all affiliates of the Coalition are to embark on a sit down strike from 5 am on Monday, December 6th, 2021,” this is according to the statement by the driver union.

According to the drivers, the strike will remain in force until all their demands on the removal of the taxes are fully met by the government.

The statement entreated its members and affiliate bodies to comply with the directive and urged the general public to bear with the coalition in this difficult exercise they are undertaking.

Transport operators and members of the public have not been happy with the increasing taxes on petroleum products coupled with the automatic adjustment regime being implemented by the government.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced in October the removal of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) on petroleum, diesel, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for a period of two months.

The removal meant that the PSRL which was 16 pesewas per litre on petrol, 14 pesewas per litre on diesel and a kilogram of LPG would not be applied for the period, thereby reducing the price of the petroleum to cushion the consuming public.

But the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) said the gesture by the government was too little to ameliorate the suffering of Ghanaians.

Executive Secretary for COPEC told the media recently that “Fuel prices did not go up by 14p/litre in the current window and are set to go up again by another 20 and 30p/litre.

Throwing in the Stabilisation and Recovery Levy of 14 and 16 p/litre for diesel and petroleum respectively is indeed a good gesture but insufficient to deal with the challenges confronting us all at the pumps due to international price increments and the cedi’s depreciation for the last quarter.”

COPEC, in a letter dated October 5 this year to the Finance Ministry presented a number of recommendations for consideration prior to the presentation of the 2022 budget statement of the government.

Among the taxes and levies COPEC suggested for review were the PSRL, Special Petroleum Tax, Primary Distribution Margin, Energy Debt Recovery Levy and the BOST Margin.
COPEC also suggested to the government that the two-week window pricing policy should be reviewed, if possible, to at least a four-week period. Enditem


SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah

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