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Transport unions hike fares by 20%

Sun, 16 May 2021 Source: classfmonline.com

The Ghana Committed Drivers Association, International Drivers Road Transport Union, Truth Drivers Union, Concern Drivers Association and others, have increased transport fares by 20% effective Monday, 17 May 2021.

The increase according to the group has become necessary in view of the number of taxes on fuel announced by government in the 2021 budget and was subsequently approved by Parliament.

"A gallon of fuel which used to be sold at the pump for GH¢24.52 pesewas is now sold at GH-¢27.22 pesewas. Also, prices of spare parts and DVLA charges have shot up considerably," the statement read.

"With these developments, if we delay any further in increasing lorry fares by at least 20%, our transport business will collapse," the statement added.

Read their joint statement below:

JOINT STATEMENT BY PRIVATE ROAD TRANSPORT OPERATORS ON 20% INCREASE IN LORRY FARES, SUNDAY, 16TH MAY 2021

The Ghana Committed Drivers Association, International Drivers Road Transport Union, Truth Drivers Union, Concern Drivers Association and other unions and associations, wish to inform our customers and the general public that we have increased our lorry fares by 20% effective tomorrow, Monday, 17th May, 2021.

The increase has become necessary in view of the number of taxes on fuel announced by the Government in the 2021 budget and was subsequently approved by Parliament.

The implementation was effective 1st May, 2021 and it has been running for a little over 2 weeks.

A gallon of fuel which used to be sold at the pump for GHC 24.52 pesewas is now sold at GH¢27.22 pesewas.

Also, prices of spare parts and DVLA charges have shot up considerably.

With these developments, if we delay any further in increasing lorry fares by at least 20%, our transport business will collapse.

We, therefore, wish to impress upon our customers and the general public to bear with us as we have also factored their financial situation into our calculations before arriving at the 20%.

For the sake of our customers and the general public, we arrived at the 20% lorry fare increase by dividing 120 by 100 and multiplying it by the old or existing lorry fare.

Our dear customers and the general public must know that we have absorbed a lot of the petroleum products price increases for a long time and have gotten to a stage where we can no longer contain it.

We selflessly operated and abided by the decision of the stakeholders to increase lorry fares twice in a year.

However, we the private road transport operators have been at the receiving end of this decision for far too long. While we diligently obey the decision, prices of petroleum products keep increasing without corresponding increases in lorry fares.

We hold a strong view that this has become unfair business practice with a dire consequences for our business. We have, therefore, resolved that any time fuel prices, spare parts, and other levies relating road transport go up, we will also adjust our lorry fares to reflect the increment.

It is our considered view that we will only go by the decision to increase lorry fares twice year if the powers that be can also ensure that prices of petroleum products and spare parts are not increase in the course of every year so as to guarantee stable prices and lorry fares.

We wish to state that we are not part of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTCC) which together with the Government fix percentage increase in lorry fares.

It must interest the general public to note that the GPRTU for some time now has pulled out of the Council and now joined the TUC and has since been negotiating with the Government for increase in lorry fares on its own. It has even gone ahead to put it in its constitution, Article 2 (k).

It will, therefore, be difficult for us to keep waiting for them to conclude negotiations on the percentage of increase in lorry fares.

As at 2016, a gallon of fuel for instance was between GH¢14.000 and GH¢16.00. Since 2017, the prices have increased astronomically to the current GH¢27.22 pesewas but without the corresponding increases in lorry fares.

We, however, acknowledge the brief reduction in fuel prices during the peak of the Covid-19 last year from GH¢24.00 to GH¢19.00. Since then the price returned to GH¢24.00 until the recent fuel taxes were imposed.

We also wish to state that the strict implementation of the deregulation of the petroleum products sub-sector since 2012, has meant that government no longer subsidises petroleum products except premix fuel.

However, the same government has found it to be a convenient and easy way of generating revenue by imposing new taxes and increasing existing taxes on petroleum products.

We want to assure our customers and the general public that we are sensitive to the economic challenging situation we all find ourselves but we also need to save our business from collapsing with this modest increase in lorry fare. Remain assured of our best services.

Thank you.

Signed Charles Danso (Chairman, Ghana Committed Drivers Association) 0244-233929/0264-233929

Alex Kofi Sarpong (Chairman, International Drivers Road Transport Union) 0244-137615

Yaw Barimah (PRO, Truth Drivers Union) 0500-312104/ 0554-822565

George Osei (Chairman, Concern Drivers Association) 0202-965120/0242-971025

Source: classfmonline.com
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