General News of Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Government subsidies on petroleum products do not benefit Ghanaians, especially those in the rural areas, according to the Executive Director of IMANI Center for Policy & Education, Franklin Cudjoe.
Speaking on Radio Gold he said that $80 million of the $110 million government subsidies on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) are intended for rural communities but are instead used in the urban areas.
The government of Ghana thought it wise to support the rural populace in the purchase of LPG which is a substitute for logs used as cooking fuel in an effort to reduce deforestation which also guards against erosion.
Mr. Cudjoe, who is also the editor of AfricanLiberty.org, said he was not surprised at the fact that 40% of the nation’s petroleum products were consumed by government ministries, departments and agencies.
And these departments put together owe the Electricity Company of Ghana an equivalent of 400 mega watts of power. This, Mr. Cudjoe suggested, must be checked to lessen the burden on the tax payer.
He also could not understand “why we should have taxes and at the same time have subsidies on petroleum products".
In his opinion, one must be scrapped because “you can’t have the two; it is double jeopardy”.
He warned against politicising subsidies on petroleum products because any change in pricing affects the lives of all Ghanaians and called on all stakeholders to come together to find a lasting solution to the challenge.