Restoring fuel subsidy will not reduce fares – GPRTU

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) says the restoration of fuel subsidies by the government will not necessarily lead to a reduction in lorry fares in the country.

This is because fuel prices constitute the minutest aspect of the operational cost of the transport business.

Reacting to concerns over the increases in lorry fares and agitation for the restoration of fuel subsidies, the National Vice-Chairman of the GPRTU,  Alhaji Issah Tetteh, said whenever fuel subsidies were restored, fuel prices could or would be reduced.

“However, I doubt how we can convince our members to reduce lorry fares when we know that fuel prices constitute a minutest aspect of the operational cost,” he said.

“As I talk to you, the Internal Revenue Service of the Ghana Revenue Authority has reviewed transportation taxes by more than 400 per cent. And we (transport owners) have to pay it upfront. For instance, tax of GH¢6 has been increased to GH¢35,” he stated.

Alhaji Tetteh, who is also the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the GPRTU, said the restoration of fuel subsidies might benefit those with cars but not the majority of persons using public transport.

He said what the GPRTU could do was to maintain the current fares in the event of new increases in petroleum prices.

Last year, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) announced new prices for petroleum products with effect from Thursday, December 29, 2011. The price increases ranged from 15 to 30 per cent.

There was also a corresponding 10 per cent increases  in transportation fares as a result.

Since the introduction of the new fuel prices, workers have been mounting pressure on their leaders to organise demonstrations to compel the government to restore fuel subsidies.

Source: Daily Graphic

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