Consumers of petroleum products will now heave a sigh of relief following the passage of the Special Petroleum Tax Amendment Bill which saw a reduction in the tax from 15percent to 13percent.
Per the amended Bill, which awaits the assent of the president, a litre of petrol sold at the various pumps at GH¢4.67ps will now sell at GH¢4.51ps and a litre of diesel sold at GH¢4.67ps will go for GH¢4.48ps.
With the new tax measure, the ordinary taxi driver who consumes about 300 gallons of petrol a month will be able to save GH¢210 on the product.
The reduction on a gallon of petroleum products is between GH¢1 and GH¢0.70ps, Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Kwarteng has said.
Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Kwarteng
Although the amended Bill does not provide the comfort consumers have been looking for, Mr Kwarteng said it lifts a major burden placed on Ghanaians by the past regime.
“We wanted relief for consumers not just for today but going forward,” he told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Thursday.
The past administration introduced the tax in 2015 because of the sharp drop in crude oil prices, which was sold as low as $28 per barrel on the world market. The situation affected government revenue resulting in the passage of the tax to fill in the gaps.
However, crude oil is now being sold at $61.21 an equivalent of GHS274.04 per barrel which is $33.21 higher than it was when the tax was introduced.
The government has chosen to reduce the percentage of the tax from 15percent to 13percent instead of completely scrapping it as some Ghanaians have called for.
Mr Kwarteng said what the government did is to insulate the consumer from being at the mercy of crude oil prices on the international market.
He explained the danger or harmfulness of the measure introduced by the past regime is that anytime fuel price goes up consumers are hurt by the price.
Minority Spokesperson on energy Adam Mutawakilu
“When we assumed office in 2017, we said that tax has to be a ‘specific tax’ so we reduced it from 17.5percent to 15percent. We went down further to 13percent and locked it down as Specific tax,” he said, adding consumers will be the ultimate beneficiary.
But Minority Spokesperson on energy Adam Mutawakilu has expressed his dissatisfaction with the reduction of tax percentage, saying it amounts to nothing.
He would want the government to scrap the tax because the reasons behind its introduction are no longer applicable.
“We are making excess money today so we don’t need the Special Petroleum Tax,” he said.