We won’t scrap petrol tax – Amin
Deputy Minister of Energy, Dr Mohammed Amin Anta, has said the Akufo-Addo government has no intention to scrap the Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) introduced by the previous administration.
The Minority in Parliament repeated its call for the scrap on Wednesday, 19 September 2018 through its Ranking Member of the Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu.
According to the Damongo lawmaker, the levy has outlived its usefulness and is also the cause of escalating fuel prices in the country, recently.
Parliament, in 2014, approved the 17.5 per cent Special Petroleum Levy introduced by the Mahama administration.
The NPP Minority in parliament at the time, then led by its spokesperson on finance, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, expressed disappointment at the levy and promised to reduce it in the event the party won the 2016 elections.
Eventually, when the NPP won the polls, the 17.5 per cent rate was reduced by two per cent.
However, Mr. Mutawakilu believes the continuous implementation of that levy is partly to blame for the hike in fuel prices and, so, must be abolished totally.
The price of fuel hit the GHS5-plus mark on Monday, 17 September 2018.
Responding to the Minority’s call on Thursday, 20 September 2018, the Deputy Minister of Energy said: “We all recognise that many countries around the world generate revenue through carbon taxes, I’m talking about petroleum taxes, and, therefore, where government finds it necessary that we may have to meet some of our development needs through revenue generated from taxes, government will do that. This is why, since the previous government imposed the SPT, ours, upon assuming office, has been to reduce the SPT”.
He said the Akufo-Addo government “can also generate revenue through taxes but we are doing it responsibly”.
According to him, “Government is doing it in a way which does not put too much burden on the Ghanaian”.
“The total tax component in the petroleum product prices from 40% in March 2017 to 26% and that is how a responsible government can generate revenue through taxes on petroleum product prices without injuring the welfare of the Ghanaian”.
He added that the SPT is being reviewed to ensure that its effect is minimised for the Ghanaian.