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Government provides 10 per cent electricity subsidies for all consumers

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Government is to provide a subsidy of GHC185.79 million, to absorb 10 per cent of the bills of all categories of electricity consumers to cushion them against the recent tariff increases.

Under the arrangement, customers who use up to 150 units a month would receive a total of GHC22million, while residential and lifeline consumers who use up to 50 units per month would receive a total of GHC48.79 million.

“Non-Residential and industrial consumers would also receive a total of GHC 112 million Cedis.”

These were part of the recommendations of the Technical Committee appointed by Government a couple of weeks ago to review downwards the current utilities tariffs, which were presented to Vice President John Dramanai Mahama at the Castle, Osu, on Tuesday.

Mr. Kweku A. Antwi, Chief Executive Officer of the Volta River Authority who led the committee in the presentation, said the subsidies were intended to give relief to all electricity consumers.

Mr. Andrew Quayson, representative of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said the subsidies would not make any significant impact on industries which would still be burdened with high cost of production and stiff competition from the importation of cheap substitutes.

He appealed to government and the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to reduce the tariffs by 90 per cent in order to make industries comfortable to operate and provide jobs for a lot more unemployed persons in the country.

Vice President Mahama who received the recommendations, tasked the PURC to implement the proposed subsidies and to keep its doors open for subsequent amicable negotiations.

He appealed to the AGI to consult government on other areas of cushioning its members rather than blame all the Association’s challenges on tariffs alone.

“Government would be ready to dialogue with your leadership in other areas that can facilitate your operations and I will urge you to come out with such areas so that government will help you deal with such issues,” said Vice President MAhama.

He said government had the duty of supporting the electricity companies to survive and provide better services, particularly when there was likely to be an 18 per cent reduction in the water inflow into the Akosombo dam reservoir.

The impoundment of the Black Volta for the Bui dam which would begin next year would among other things result in the reduction of the quantity of water flowing into the Akosombo reservoir, in order to release more water for the Bui dam to begin operation

Source: GNA

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