Drivers threaten to increase fares by 20%

October 13, 2021 By 0 Comments

The Private Road Transport Commercial Operators Unions, together with the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), have threatened to increase transport fares by 20% if the government fails to reduce fuel prices.

According to them, they are disappointed in the government for not putting in place any stabilisation measure to curtail the hikes in fuel and petroleum products in the country.

“This half-hearted attitude of government does not promote the welfare of persons in the commercial transport business, even though commercial transport operators are the major consumers of petroleum and for that matter largely contribute to the clearance of legacy debts in the energy sector, through the Energy Sector Levy Act 2015 (Act 899) to Energy Sector Levy Act 2021 (Act 1064)”

In a joint press statement released on Tuesday and signed by the National Communication Officer for GPRTU, Mr. Abass Morro, noted that “Our disappointment stems from the failure of the government to commit to its assurance to operators that it will continue with efforts to prevent a steep rise in input cost.”

They added that based on this assurance, members of the Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council agreed to increase transport fares by 13% on 2nd June, 2021.

The recent hikes in petroleum products, especially petrol and diesel, have led to an increase of 42 pesewas from May, 2021 to October 2021.

“This is because a litre of either petrol or diesel sold at GHC 6.08 in May 2021 is currently being sold at GHC 6.50 by the major oil marketing companies.

“This means that the price of a gallon of either petrol or diesel has increased from GHC 27.36 in May to GHC 29.25 in October, 2021 indicating an increment of GHC1.89 per gallon which adds more cost to our operations, without any cost recovery interventions by the state or government of Ghana,” the statement reads.

They said government must note that a commercial taxi driver who uses five gallons of petrol a day spends additional GHC9.45 which is almost GHC10.00 and the trotro driver who uses an average of 10 gallons of diesel a day spends additional GHC18.9, which is almost GHC20 daily since the increment.

“These increments have reduced our real income because we need to add more of our income to buy the same litres of products we bought in May this year.”

They said, aside from the effect of the increment in petroleum prices on our daily sales, there has also been about a 10% surge in the prices of spare parts they buy to maintain their vehicles.

According to them, the government has been silent on these increments while the commercial transport operator continues to suffer because of the government’s negligence and silence.

“We, therefore, urge government to review the taxes on petroleum products especially diesel and petrol since the taxes, levies or margins that go to government and its agencies make up GHC2.43 on each litre of fuel bought.”

They believe the commercial transport operator pays about GHC11 to the government when a gallon of diesel or petrol is bought and an average of GHC55 per five gallons daily.

“The trotro driver also pays GHC110 for 10 gallons of diesel to the government and its agencies daily. These taxes and margins or levies on the daily basis are higher than our daily returns making us poorer, compared to other businesses in the country.”

They have, therefore, urged government to, as a matter of urgency, scrap the following taxes in the petroleum price build up; Special Petroleum Tax (46pessewas/Litre), Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (16 pessewas/litre), BOST Margin (9 pesewas/litre) and Sanitation and Pollution Levy (10 pesewas/litre).

“We also believe that the Energy Debt Recovery Levy and the Energy Sector Recovery Levy should be merged and reduced to 30 pesewas per Litre.

“If government does not remove or review the taxes downwards, then we will have no alternative than to increase our fares by 20% to recover the cost of our operations and debt we have incurred during these price increments”

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