The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has threatened legal action against the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) over the introduction of a new levy on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

The NPA in a circular to industry players directed them to start charging 13.5 pesewas on each kilogram of LPG from April 1.

The NPA is also asking Oil marketing companies to increase the levy on Fuel Marking Margin from 3 pesewas to 4.5 pesewas per litre on every product.

COPEC says the current action of the regulator is disappointing and illegal.

In an interview with JoyBusiness, the Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah said, “this is very interesting, I do think the NPA itself appreciate the illegality that it is actually engaged in currently. For you to introduce any form of levy, there is a legal regime that one must follow.”

“In Act 691 that establishes the NPA, the NPA has no mandate, power within the setup to impose a new levy of such magnitude without recourse to parliament”

Mr Amoah said, “There is only one legal framework for slapping any levy or taxes on Ghanaians; that framework is through the Finance Ministry to Parliament for deliberations and approval and then it can come into effect.”

“The NPA is not clothed with power to sit and unilaterally push levies or taxes on Ghanaians to start paying as they have done and that we intend to contest seriously.”

Cylinder Recovery Margin (CRM)

Mr Amoah said the introduction of the Cylinder Recovery Margin clearly defeats the whole purpose of the Cylinder Recirculation Model.

“It cannot be said that even before you think of rolling out nationally, the monetary consideration is going ahead of everything. We would have wished to see how the CRM would even work across the country, how many of the bottling plants you will be able to erect, how far you are able to serve Ghanaians before you even talk about issues of money. Unfortunately, it looks as though right from the start we are already defeating the whole essence of the Cylinder Recirculation Model by putting money ahead of every other thing.”

 He added, “It cannot be said that we are already charging Ghanaians for a certain service that they are not using. You cannot charge people for a Cylinder Recovery Margin at the time when they are still using their own bottles. No branded bottles are in the system to be given to anyone if he/she went to the market today to refill his/her bottle, yet you are charging them for a certain recovery. What are you taking those monies for?”