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General News of Monday, 16 December 2019

Source: Class FM

100% BOST margin: Minority to drag government to court

The Minority in Parliament is threatening to drag the government of Ghana to court over the 100 per cent hike of the BOST margin.

They are also demanding its immediate reversal.

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) on Friday, 13 December 2019 directed OMCs and LPG marketing companies (LPG-MCs) to apply an upward review of a combined 4 pesewa increase to Ghanaian pump prices.

Per the directive, the BOST margin, which currently stands at 3p/litre or some cumulative 10,200,000.00 from consumers, is to be increased by 100% to a new rate of 6p/litre or some cumulative 20,400,000.00 from consumers based on current conservative estimates of some 340 million litres of fuel consumed monthly, the UPPF component also gets increased by 4.7% or 1p from the current 21p/litre to 22p/ litre or some 3,420,000.00 cumulative monthly.

Speaking to the media on the latest development, the minority spokesperson on mines and energy, Mr Adam Mutawakilu, said the NPA has no power to adjust the margin without first resorting to Parliament.

The Damango MP accused the Nana Akufo-Addo administration of insensitivity and warned that the opposition MPs would resort to the law court if the directive is not withdrawn.

He said: “Some few weeks ago, I had an interaction with you and condemned President Akufo-Addo for increasing fuel prices. I think that was not enough for him, he’s decided to increase fuel prices again by increasing the BOST margin by about 100 per cent and UPPF by 1 pesewa. This is the Christmas gift President Nana Akufo-Addo has for Ghanaians – by increasing prices. That tells you the level of insensitivity in the President”.

“There are two issues to it: it is not justifiable for price increases through the BOST margin; we’ve even called for the removal of the BOST margin because the main purpose of BOST is to ensure we have strategic stocks, but as we speak, there’s no strategic stock, so, why are you taking the stock margin in the first place?

“Second is the issue of legality and that will be contested in court. Parliament has the powers to impose taxes and levies on approving it for implementation. This BOST margin has been unilaterally taken over by NPA and increasing it. We will test it in court, we think it’s illegal and the right thing must be done. First of all, they need to bring it to parliament and when parliament approves it, they can go ahead with the increment…”

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