General News of Monday, 19 June 2017

Source: citibusinessnews.com

We are not increasing fares over towing fees – GPRTU

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has debunked reports that it will immediately increase transportation fare if the mandatory towing levy is implemented by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC).

Even though the transport operators admit that the implementation of the policy will increase their operational costs, they do not anticipate a rise in transportation fares anytime soon.

“We are not saying we will push for any increment as of now but in the future when we are considering the fare increment that will be factored into it,” National Vice Chairman of the GPRTU, Robert Sabah stated.

Effective July 1, this year, vehicle owners and motorcyclists will be compelled to pay compulsory annual fees, tied to the acquisition of road worthy certificate, to cater for towing services.

The move has been met with stiff opposition from commuters and vehicle owners.

Some have argued that the move will also increase the burden of drivers or vehicle owners.

Already transport fares have been increased by 15 percent early this year.

The transport unions cited the rise in fuel prices and other operational cost as basis for the upward review.

Mr. Sabah is also confident that the margin of increase in transport fares will only be determined by the margin of increase following the implementation of the compulsory towing fees.

“When this law becomes operational, then any amount that we pay becomes part of our operational cost and therefore when there is the need for any transport fare increases, this will be considered.”

“Because we always take into consideration all these operational costs; that is, the DVLA registration, insurance, spare parts, district assemblies’ stickers, among others before fixing transport fares. So if this becomes an additional operational cost, that will also be considered,” he asserted.

Meanwhile some Ghanaians have expressed disapproval at the compulsory towing levy which is to be commenced on the first of July this year.

Citi Business News’ checks have revealed that majority of car owners believe the new levy will only add to the already burdened Ghanaian car owner.

A tax consultant, Abdallah Ali-Nakyea of Ali-Nakyea and Associates had described the levy yet as improper, hence must be scrapped.

“The towing levy is arbitrary and not participatory enough…it will rather increase the hardships that Ghanaians are already facing,” one vehicle owner opined.

Another remarked, “What is the essence of the road worthy for the vehicles while we pay insurance on our vehicles with commercial vehicles also paying toll to the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.”