The African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) says the share of taxes on petroleum prices in Ghana is one the highest in the developing world.
According to ACEP “the IMF shows that average tax share in excess pump prices of petrol and diesel in developing countries ranges between 22 percent and 30 percent.”
With the introduction of the current levies the tax component on the ex-pump prices stands at 41 percent for petrol and 42 percent for diesel.
ACEP also said per their analysis “the effect of the levies on ex-pump prices are much greater and punitive. We estimate that the levies have led to increase in the ex-pump price by between 22 percent and 28 percent.”
Speaking at a press Conference Executive Director of ACEP, Muhammed Amin Adam asked government to audit and publish all of its debt to the utility service providers.
TOR debt overpaid
ACEP also maintained that consumers have overpaid the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt.
This to them is because at the “time the levy was instituted, the total debt stood at GHc450million.
By 2009 the total debt had grown to GHc900 million due to non-application of the revenues to service the debt as well as interest accumulation.”
They insist their analysis shows that “between 2009 and 2015, the total collection from the levy is in excess of GHc1.9 billion.”
This to them should “effectively amortize the debt assuming an interest rate of 10 percent.”
Finance Ministry misapplying TOR recovery debt levy
ACEP is also accusing the Finance Minister of misapplying the TOR debt recovery levy contrary to section 13 of the TOR debt recovery levy fund act 2003.
He also said the minister “over the years failed to submit this report to Parliament, which reduces the minister’s legal and moral authority to continue collecting the levy.”
On power generation and infrastructure support levy on petroleum products, ACEP said though this is a good tax they wonder ” why apart from higher electricity tariffs, consumers are also being asked to pay debts accumulated from the inefficiencies on the part of the VRA [Volta River Authority] and ECG [Electricity Company of Ghana].”
They also want this levy abolished after about four years by that time they hope it should have cleared the debts.