Minority slams tariff increment

Water tapThe Minority in Parliament on Thursday said government had increased tariffs to clear the mess the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) had caused to the economy.

They therefore called on the NDC to be open and tell Ghanaians the reason for the utility tariff increment.

Mr David Oppong-Kusi, Ranking Member for Works and Housing at a news conference said the new tariffs announced by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC), with effect from October 1, was too much.

He said electricity tariffs, which was increased by 78.9 per cent and water 52 per cent are part of a much larger intended increment of 150 per cent.

Mr Kusi said Volta River Authority, Ghana Grid Company Limited, Electricity Corporation of Ghana and Ghana Water Company Limited would concede that there major administrative and technical inefficiencies affecting their services.

He said currently only 48 per cent of chemically treated water produced is accounted for, adding that the anomaly and can no longer be tolerated.

Mr Kusi noted that about 50 per cent of electricity generated is either lost or not paid for.

He asked why PURC had waited for so long to introduce the hikes in such massive doses, when the increment ought to have started from 2010.

Mr Kusi explained that utility tariff increment may not always be wrong but when they are driven by mismanagement as is the case in the current upward adjustments it must be condemned.

He said the utility hikes would impact negatively on the cost of production of businesses and slow down the already slow pace of economic activity, hurt the tomato seller, shoe shine boy, farmer, baker, lawyer and kenkey seller.

He said government must therefore sit up to give Ghanaians a better and competent management of state affairs which includes sound management of utility services.

Source: GNA

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