The Ministry of Finance has recommended new fees and charges for inputs in the revised Road Tolls Act to enable the restart of the collection of road tolls.
A letter dated March 10 by the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta and copied the Minister of Roads and Highways, said the recommendation commences the procedures, necessary to determine the toll foundation rates to be considered by the Ministry of Roads and Highways.
“We are by this letter sending the recommended rates for input by the Ministry of Roads and Highways to enable this ministry to finalise the schedule of fees under the upcoming Legislative Instrument,” it noted.
Per the letter sighted by the Ghanaian Times, there was a composite average increase rate of 88.05 per cent across board.
Heavy buses, for instance, would pay GH¢1.50 while cars would pay 50Gp instead of the proposed GH¢2 and GH¢1 respectively.
The letter stated that, it was the responsibility of the Minister of Finance, under Section 6 of Act 1080, to amend the schedules of the Act to include or exclude MDAs and/or adjust the fees and charges collected by MDAs for their services through a Legislative Instrument, when necessary.
In line with this, it said, the Ministry was through the recommendation, initiating steps to provide for foundational rates for tolling of roads and highways as part of the amendments of the Act, pending completion of the process to identify the roads and highways to be affected by the reintroduction of the road tolls as stated in the budget.
The road tolls were cancelled in 2022 after Mr Ofori-Atta read that year’s budget in Parliament, introducing the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) to rake up more revenue from a larger section of the public.
However, after revenue shortfalls from the E-Levy, the Minister announced a reintroduction of the tolls in the 2023 budget read on November 24, 2022.
The reinstatement of the road toll was one of the revenue-generating plans in the 2023 budget that Mr Ofori-Atta, submitted to Parliament.
The Finance Minister, in his speech, admitted that the suspension of road toll collection had hampered the government’s revenue generation.
He explained that, the government was struggling to deal with the decision made in anticipation of the passage of the E-levy.
Following the cessation of the road toll, the Minority in Parliament had been advocating the reintroduction of road tolls, arguing that the move was not financially sustainable, especially since the government was struggling to raise revenue.
BY TIMES REPORTER