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General News
Parliament approves govt’s decision to reduce taxes of fuel prices 7/30/2006
Parliament yesterday sat late into the night to amend the customs and excise act to abolish the ad valorem excise duty of 15 percent on petroleum products.

The amendment bill was considered under a certificate of emergency after it was laid before the House by the finance minister, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu.

The House also approved another amendment bill to reduce the level of taxation on petroleum products as a result of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Debt Recovery Levy.

Parliament’s Committee on Finance’s reports on the two bills said the two were intended to alleviate the hardship on the Ghanaian citizenry, as a result of the hikes in the prices of petroleum products.

The Majority in Parliament argued that the reduction in the taxes, which has led to a reduction in the price of petroleum products, demonstrates that the government listens to public opinion.

“We have a listening government. The question is who caused it? If Ghanaians are carrying a burden, we should know the source of the burden,” MP for Sunyani West,
Kwadwo Agyei Darko said.

“In the budget of 2006, we indicated in page 345, paragraph 113 and 115 that by all means we are studying the details of the excess taxes.

That is what we are doing now. Mr Speaker, we have been following the trends of the prices of the crude oil and this is the Newsweek of May 15th and it has been indicated that prices can hit 100 or 120 dollars and since then we have been following them. So really, we have been doing our home work,” Finance Minister Kwadwo Baah Wiredu said.

But their minority colleagues claimed victory saying the government had been compelled to reduce the taxes after several campaigns from their ranks.

Ranking Member on Finance, Moses Asaga said: “It is a victory for all Ghanaians and for the Wahala demonstrations. We have always said for the past three years that there was a way that government could reduce taxes. It has been done before and it can be done and I am very happy that the Minister for Finance at long last has listened to wisdom. The NDC will continue to put the government on its toes and make sure that Ghanaians are delivered from undue hardship”.

"There is that levy called the Social Mitigation Levy which comes to about another 3,000 cedis per gallon. Mr Speaker, if government withdrew that levy it will bring the cost of premium further down to 37,000 cedis and so I urge my colleagues on the other side especially the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to bring another amendment to withdraw the Social Mitigation Levy so that the prices can come down even further,” MP for Bole Bamboi, John Mahama said.

With the approval, Petrol will now sell at 40,000 cedis instead of 42,000. Kerosene will go for 32,000 instead of 34,000 cedis. The price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas, LPG which was selling at 110,000 will now sell at 100,000 cedis.

Source: myjoyonline

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