TUC calls for immediate fuel price reduction

The Trades Union Congress has called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) to immediately reduce fuel prices.

According to the union, the prices of crude oil on the international market had, since June 2014, halved and, therefore, found the failure of the NPA to reduce fuel prices unjustifiable.

A statement signed by its Secretary General,?Mr Kofi Asamoah, and issued in Accra Monday after its General Council meeting noted that a substantial reduction in fuel prices would “help reduce inflation and the cost of living”.

It noted the relative stability of the Cedi in the last few months and attributed that to the reversal of the foreign exchange rules implemented by the Bank of Ghana in the first half of the year.

“We would like to advise the Bank of Ghana to refrain from implementing such inappropriate regulations,” it said.

The statement also urged the government to put in place measures to control the rising cost of living.

“In the meantime, we expect the negotiation of the 2015 national daily minimum wage and base pay on the Single Spine Pay Structure to conclude without further delay.

“A higher minimum wage and base pay will reduce the negative effects of the high cost of living on workers and their families,” it stated.

Meanwhile, a lobbyist for the Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs), Senyo Hossi, has called on Government not to succumb to mounting pressure from sections of the public for fuel prices to be reduced.

The over-recoveries being realised in the wake of falling crude oil prices, he said, could help government clear a debt backlog of some Ghc1.5billion it owes BDCs.

“The 2015 budget has only Ghc50million for petroleum subsidies and we have a Ghc1.5billion problem. How is government going to pay for it?” he asked.

“It is obvious that this over-recovery is a major mechanism for paying. God has been good to the economy in that prices have been falling and consumers are screaming.

“But when prices were rising, the TUC and others were rather fighting for government to subsidise. So if prices are going down I think it is only fair that we balance it out and make sure we have a mechanism to clear the backlog,” Hossi told the B&FT.

Oil prices have gone down by half since June due mainly to slowing economic growth in developing nations, particularly China. On Monday, the price of Brent Crude was just above US$61 while WTI Crude Oil was US$56.52.

source : starrfmonline.com