The Minority Caucus in Parliament has called on the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to immediately suspend the increment on electricity service charges which they claim was done without consultation and due process.
The group also threatened to haul the PURC before Parliament if it fails to suspend the price hikes and ensure that the right was done.
“In as much as the PURC have some independence in the determination of fees, charges and tariffs, it cannot do that in a whimsical and capricious manner without recourse to due process”
Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, Ranking Member on Mines and Energy Committee made the called when he addressed the media in Parliament House on recent hikes by the PURC in the electricity subsector of the country.
Mr Jinapor also indicated that the Minority had noted with grave concern some steep and astronomical increases in service and other related charges within the electricity subsector, averaging at almost 100 percent.
He expressed worry that “these increments have been carried out in the most opaque and clandestine manner without recourse to any public announcement by the PURC.”
He added that this unorthodox approach was in complete violation of laid down processes, which required that consumers were notified of such adjustments prior to implementation.
He, therefore, called for the immediate suspension of these price increments to allow for better consultation and ensure that the due process was adhered to in this regard.
“The Minority in Parliament wishes to state in unequivocal terms that we completely reject these draconian price hikes given the current economic conditions as well as the surreptitious manner with which the exercise has been carried out. This unorthodox approach is in complete violation of laid down processes which require that consumers are notified of such adjustments prior to implementation” he said.
In a related development, Mr Jinapor had expressed concern about the serious increments and hikes in fuel prices, which he said continued to increase daily.
He said within a spate of about one year, there has been about 50 percent increase in fuel prices across the country.
He said though the government announced the suspension of the Price Stabilization Recovery Levy, however, they have brought back the levy which he said has led to untold hardships on consumers.
Mr Jinapor explained that in the 2022 budget statement, the Benchmark Revenue per barrel of crude oil is pegged at $61, today crude oil is over $90 and Ghana is a net exporter crude oil, saying, what it means was that Ghana was making a windfall from this crude which was over 50 percent.
“Our position is that use part of this money to cushion the ordinary consumer,” he said.