NPA misses Nov.1 deadline to remove fuel levy …as it await Parliament to legislate implementation

Some commercial drivers and passengers have called on government to expedite work on the legislative processes to enable the removal of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levies (PSRL) on petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for a period of two months.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), last month announced the scrapping of the PSRL to mitigate the impact of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers with effect from November 1, 2021.

The purpose of the PSRL is to stabilise prices for consumers and pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO).

The removal means that PSRL which is currently 16 pesewas per liter (GHp16/Lt) on petrol, 14 pesewas per litre (GHp14/Lt) on diesel, and 14 pesewas per kilogram (GHp14/Kg) on LPG would not be applied for the period, thereby reducing the price of the aforementioned products to cushion consumers.

Despite the announcement, the removal is yet to be operationalised because Parliament has not passed the legislation.

Kwaku Aidoo, a commercial bus driver, said although the levy was insignificant, it was the first step in ensuring that prices of petroleum products were reduced.

“I heard the component of levy taken off is very minimal. But it is the first step toward making sure fuel prices are affordable for all of us,” he added.

Another driver, Emmanuel Gyasi urged government to consider removing other levies, which were all together responsible for high fuel prices.

He noted that the current prevailing economic conditions were harsh on the citizenry and it was imperative the government took the hard approach to cushion Ghanaians.

A passenger, who was identified as James Okine, said Ghanaians were anticipating further removal of levies by the government to provide relief to them.

The Authority on October 11 in Accra, in a statement, said the approval for the zero PSRL was given by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo following the advice of the NPA to the Ministry of Energy to seek government’s intervention to mitigate the impact of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers.

The decision by the government comes at a time prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products have sharply surged on the global market due to a rise in demand of oil globally without a corresponding increase in supply, particularly from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Because the pricing of petroleum products in Ghana is deregulated, changes in prices of petroleum products on the world market have a direct impact on prices at the pumps.

“The outlook of prices on the global market shows an upward trend and therefore there was the need to seek government’s intervention to lower the levies to cushion consumers from feeling the full impact of these rising prices”, the NPA statement said.

The NPA said it would work with the Ministries of Energy and Finance to quicken the legislative processes to give immediate effect to this directive by the President.

The statement thanked the President for granting the request to zero the levies to minimise the effect of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers in Ghana.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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