General News Mon, 20 Jan 2003

Minority Accuse Church, Moslem, Students ....

............ And TUC Leaders

The National Democratic Congress Minority in Parliament has rejected the petroleum price increases announced on Friday.

In a statement signed by the Minority Chief Whip, Mr E. K. Adjaho the Minority alleged that leaders of Church, Muslim communities, sections of the student and labour movement were "clandestinely invited to the Castle during the week and told to preach and convince their congregation to accept the imminent increases". It said "Those leaders must be feeling betrayed indeed by the size of the increases".

The statement said “it wonders whether those leaders, including the Private enterprise Foundation (PEF), which expressly came out in support of the increases can justify these record breaking increases, let alone preach to Ghanaians to accept it, unless they know what the majority of Ghanaians do not know".

The statement alleged that the Government has taken a decision at a Cabinet meeting last December to re-designate the Fuel Levy as the Roads Development Levy and increase it by 45 per cent in January this year. It said ‘’it is obvious that Government has padded the petroleum price and is using it as a tool for revenue generation". It added that "Since NPP came into power in January 2001, transport fares gone up by 200 per cent on the average.

According to Government itself, electricity is produced at the ratio of 35 per cent hydro to 65 per cent thermal. It said ‘’we are therefore bound to have an almost 50 per cent in crease in electricity tariffs by March this year. Water production includes about a 50 per cent electricity component. Water tariffs are also bound to shoot up,"

The statement said "the effects of the increases on the productive sectors of the economy such as the Timber, Mining, Farming and Fishing industries are just too frightening to contemplate". The Minority urged the government to "sit down with the leadership of other political parties and other social partners to urgently review the situation and agree on realistic but affordable prices for petroleum prices".


Source: .