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Introduce new levies on petroleum - Dr. Domfe to government

Thu, 11 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Dr. George Domfe, an economist with the University of Ghana, is urging the government to introduce new levies on petroleum.

While doing that, he has asked that the government is measured in a way that will overly burden the poor citizen, who, by petroleum price increments, usually have to deal with the rippling effects of prices of other items also going up.

Dr. Domfe made this known in an interview with GhanaWeb ahead of expectations for the 2021 budget reading in Parliament by Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, due to the absence of minister-designate for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who is out of the country seeking further medical care.

He explained that in the past few years, the numbers of levies on petroleum have reduced, mounting pressure on the economy but it is time to reintroduce, and if possible, add on to them to rake up revenue to support the country after the effects it has suffered due to the coronavirus.

“I want to challenge the government to introduce some levies on petroleum. When we deregulated the petroleum sector, we had about seven different levies: a short while ago, we had about eight of them, we saw all these levies reduced to about six in the year 2016, and in 2017, it went to five. So, as I speak with you, we have five levies.

“Now, looking at the problem at hand, it’s not a problem that one individual brought but it’s a problem COVID has brought on us as a people so government should take initiatives – very bold initiatives to introduce some levies on petroleum but while doing that, they should be careful it doesn’t increase so much because anytime prices go up, we know what happens to the poor, prices and services will go up beyond the reach of the poor and that will push so many into poverty.

“Even if prices will go up, they should also find ways of putting in place other measures to cushion the negative impacts of such increases on the poor,” he explained.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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