External forces to blame for petroleum price hikes- gov't

External forces to blame for petroleum price hikes- gov't
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com
Date: 27-09-2017 Time: 08:09:04:pm
Dr Amin Adam

Government says it cannot be blamed for recent petroleum price hikes which have gotten many drivers, especially commercial drivers angry.

Deputy Energy Minister Dr Amin Adam insists the hikes are attributable to market and external forces which are beyond the control of government.

He was speaking on Wednesday, several days after the prices went up again.

The price of fuel is said to be at an all-year high in September with Diesel selling at GH¢4.29 per litre, and Petrol selling at GH¢ 4.23.

In July, diesel was sold at about GH¢ 3.77 per litre, while petrol was sold at GH¢ 3.76.

Despite the increases, commercial drivers have decided to stay the prices on transport fares, a decision government has welcomed.  

However pressure is mounting on government to arrest the hikes in the prices of petroleum products.

Deputy Energy Minister Dr Amin Adams said government is trying its best, despite a difficult market and external forces.

Chronicling the different components of petroleum pricing which include price of crude oil which is determined by the global market, levies and taxes as well exchange rate depreciation, the minister said government has played its role in ensuring price reduction but the market forces will not let it.

According to him, the government in its 2017 budget reduced the special petroleum taxes from 17.5% to 15% and went ahead to scrap the excise duty on petroleum products.

These interventions coupled with a better management of the economy which has kept the cedi fairly stable should have led to the reduction in petroleum prices, the minister pointed out.

However, he was quick to add that increased demand in crude oil on the international market triggered by the Texas hurricane and other factors have forced prices of crude oil to go up on the international market.

He said as a result of the deregulation policy in Ghana, prices had to be adjusted in line with increases in crude oil on the international market.

Dr Amin Adam said government is concerned about the increases and may soon implement measures that will ease the effect of the increase on Ghanaians.

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