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Currency depreciation alone cannot justify increased tariffs in 2019 – PURC

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The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) said the current depreciation of the local currency alone cannot be used to justify increases in tariffs for 2019.

Mr Ishmael Agyekum, a Commissioner of PURC, said several other important factors were needed to be considered before any review could go on.

He said though PURC had planned to have a major tariff review for utility companies this year, it would scrutinise and thoroughly evaluate all the proposals presented by the utility service providers and come out with decisions that would be in the interest of all stakeholders.

Mr Agyekum, who is also the chairman of the Technical Committee of PURC, was speaking at a public hearing in Kumasi in respect of 2019 major tariff review.

The meeting provided the platform for utility service providers such as the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Electricity Company of Ghana, Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO), Power Distribution Services Limited (PDS), Enclave Power Company Limited, and Ghana Water Company Limited to present their proposed tariff rates for 2019.

Mr Agyekum said the Commission would take into consideration the total demand and customer base of the various service providers to determine the tariff adjustment adding that the proposals presented were nothing new from the previous year.

On loses, he said currency depreciation, running on gas instead of light crude oil, and huge volumes of fuel used in operations, were among reasons cited by service providers, which made them incur losses and, hence, the request for an upward review in tariffs.

Mr Agyekum said if care was not taken certain categories of consumers such as hoteliers were going to fold-up due to high cost of non-residential tariffs, adding that some industries were gradually moving away from the grid and using their own generating plants.

Source: GNA

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