Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu has disclosed government spent GHC232 million providing tax reliefs on petroleum products to ordinary Ghanaians between December 2017 and June 2018.
He says the reliefs are part of government’s efforts to use tax interventions to mitigate the impact of the increasing price of oil on the international market on Ghanaians.
“The revenue loss to government on the removal of the Excise Duty and the reductions of the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy (PSRL) alone between December 2017 and June 2018 amounts to over Two Hundred and Thirty Two Million Ghana Cedis,” Mr. Amewu revealed when he took his turn at the weekly Meet-the-Press Series organized by the Ministry of Information.
“In order to cushion the good people of Ghana from the impacts of increasing world market prices, government has used tax interventions to mitigate the impact of domestic petroleum product price increases,” he added.
He says government removed excise duty on petroleum products and reduced the special petroleum tax rate from 17.5% to 15% in March 2017. Government further reduced the special petroleum tax rate from 15% to 13% on 16th February 2018, converted the special petroleum tax from Ad valorem to specific tax on the same date and reduced the price stabilization and recovery levies (PSRL) on 1st December 2017.
The Minister also disclosed that government, through the National Petroleum Authority has been making efforts to ensure that realistic prices are set by Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
“The NPA reviews the indicative prices submitted by each BDC and OMC for every pricing window to ensure that realistic prices are set by them and to ensure consumers are not taken advantage of in a deregulated environment,” he explained.
Mr. Amewu explained since the implementation of price deregulation in 2015, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) has played a supervisory role by determining the price benchmarks and ensuring that BDCs and OMCs set their prices in accordance with the Prescribed Petroleum Pricing Formula.