The Chief Executive Officer of the National Petroleum Authority, Hassan Tampuli says discussions about taxes on petroleum products should be situated in a certain context, since there has been an overall reduction in taxes on petroleum products since the current Akufo-Addo government assumed office in 2017.
“The discussion regarding the tax elements especially on the price of petroleum products is one that has to be situated in a certain context. Cumulatively, prices of petroleum products as far as tax is concerned has reduced from January 2017 39% to about 26% as of today, since the assumption of office the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo“
The CEO of the nation’s petroleum regulatory body made the statement Wednesday night, on Citi TVs “The Point of View”, when his comments were sought on the general feeling that the recent increase in petroleum tax resulting in a shoot in pump prices from the previous GHC5.19 per litre to about GHC5.39, representing a 3.7% jump in previous figures at the pumps, elevates the hardship on Ghanaians.
Justifying his statement Mr Tampuli cited among other things government’s decision to reduce the Special Petroleum Tax on two occasions and the subsequent scrapping of some “nuisance taxes” as evidence of his claim.
“We have reduced the special petroleum tax on two occasions, from 17.5% today it is 13%…. the Price stabilisation and recovery levy, which is 12% for petrol, diesel and 10% for LPG has been persistently taken out of the price build up. Sometimes for almost six months, seven months three months and so on. That has an impact on how much we pay at the pump.”
He added that the results of government’s handling of taxes on petroleum products have reduced the effects on petroleum prices, leaving the determinants of prices to FOB price and the forex.
“All of that reduced the percentage cumulatively by about 13% to 14% in the price build up. So what we currently see in the market is the FOB price and the forex. Those are the main determinants of petroleum prices today.”
When it was suggested to him that the purpose of the Special Petroleum Tax, which was to cater for governments lost revenue when oil prices reduced in 2015 had lost its validity, with the recovery of oil prices, Mr Tampuli said the current balance of things still remains in favour of consumers, considering the tax reductions and the need to provide development.
“We need to fix roads, we need to do all manner of things for the Ghanaian people. You can’t do that if you do not go by way of taxes, but the government being very sensitive has decided that in spite of the developmental projects that we need to do, we can still reduce in order to give cushion to the Ghanaian petroleum consumer…. So the balancing is in favour of the Ghanaian people as we speak today.”
When it was also suggested to him that there was still the need to further reduce the taxes in the face of recent increase in utility tariffs, he insisted that conditions are far better as compared to 2017 and the years before under the previous administration.