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Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi and a member of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has lamented over the 15% increment in transport fares.
According to him, it would have been prudent for operators to maintain their old prices following the new tax regime [tax cuts] which has taken effect. The new tax regime came into effect from March 31, 2017, following the amendment of some tax laws.
Changes to the tax system follows the repeal of the Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum Related Levies) Act of 2005, Act 685, and amendment of the Special Petroleum Tax Act, 2014 (Act 879).
Following the amendment, the tax rate on petroleum products has been reduced from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent. However, the transport operators yesterday [Monday] announced a 15% increment in transport fares which is expected to take effect April, 6, 2017. According to a statement released, the increment is line with the Administrative Instrument on public fares.
The statement said, ‘’the road transport operators have reviewed the prices of various elements that go into running of commercial transport services and have increased road transport fares by 15%.’’ The increment the statement further indicated, cover the following transport operators; Intra-City (Trotro); Inter-City (Long Distance) and Taxi Cabs.
But Kojo Oppong Nkrumah was of the view that, the transport operators could have exercised patience in increasing their fares. Government he explained has shown commitment in fulfilling its campaign promises.
‘’The campaign promise to cut nuisance taxes; to ensure businesses are relieved, has taken effect. What is left is for us to ensure that the various agencies will do their part so Ghanaians benefit fully from the tax cuts-so our efforts will not be in vain. One of such worrying situation is the increment in transport fares. We expected that, transport fares would have been maintained due to the reduction on petroleum tax and spare parts. The increment should not have been rushed because Ghanaians are lamenting over the increment. They are of the view that, the tax cuts should have led to a reduction in fares or the old fares maintained,’’ he said.
He hinted that, government will meet with the various stakeholders on the matter.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah who is also a Deputy Minister designate for Information said, although the NPP government is only three months old, we have started delivering on our campaign promises, and with God on our side, we will deliver on the rest, he noted.
He was speaking in an interview with Kwaku Owusu Frimpong host of Frontline on Rainbow Radio, UK.
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