Government didn’t force us to reduce tariffs – PURC
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), has downplayed suggestions that it was forced by the government to reduce electricity tarrif.
The Commission on Monday announced a massive reduction in power tariff for businesses and residential facilities two months after President Akufo-Addo indicated the government will ensure an average of 14% reduction in electricity tariffs for non-residential users in the country.
But the according to the Executive Director of the PURC, Mami Dufie Ofori, the decision to reduce the tariffs was taken independent of government and other stakeholders.
She said the PURC made the announcement according to its timetable that called for a major review of utility tariffs every two years.
“We are not influenced as such by what the government will say. The government itself owns the utility so whether by their own study of the utility operations they believe there could be a decrease, that was an issue for them but we went according to our timetable where we do a major review every two years . So we were not influenced by the government’s proposal,” she told Umaru Sanda Amadu on Eyewitness News.
She argued that the PURC’s announced percentage reductions varied from the one promised by President Akufo-Addo in January.
“After he [Akufo-Addo] made that statement, the Minister for Energy [Boakye-Agyarko] came out to indicate that what the president was saying is a proposal and that we the PURC will at the end of the day study and take the decision…[Akufo-Addo mentioned 14% [for non-residential facilities], but we raised the same thing to 30%…. We did the work based on our analysis from the data we have and that is how we came up with this independent decision,” he noted.
While admitting that various stakeholders were allowed to present proposals on the way forward on the review of the tariff, Mami Dufie Ofori denied that the PURC took the decision to review downwards the tariffs based on a particular proposal.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Public Utilities Workers’ Union, Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, has expressed surprise over the decision.
According to him, utility service providers had provided justification for an upward review of the tariffs hence it is shocking the PURC did contrary.