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General News of Monday, 20 January 2003

Source: Graphic

Abide by Official Fare Increase - Minister Appeals

THE Minister of Roads and Transport, Dr Richard Anane, has appealed to transport operators to abide by the 30-per cent increase in transport fares approved jointly by his ministry, the Ministry of Energy and the Ghana Road Transport Co-ordinating Council (GRTCC).

He said it is only fair to ask transport operators to charge fares endorsed by their own leadership.

Dr Anane was reacting to the arbitrary increases in fares in an interview yesterday, following the upward adjustment in the prices of petroleum products last Friday.

The government adjusted the price of premium from ?10,500 to ?20,000 per gallon, diesel and kerosene now sell at ?17,500, LPG now sells at ?3,800 per kilogram while Marine diesel and pre-mix will also sell at ?16,000 per gallon. The government took the decision to adjust the prices of petroleum products to arrest the accumulating debt of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and address the rising prices of crude oil and the fall in the value of the cedi.

Dr Anane explained that it is only when the transport operators agree to abide by the decision of their leadership that ?there will be understanding between commuters and the operators?.He said in arriving at the maximum rate of 30 per cent, the government took into consideration the concerns of the transport operators as far as the rising cost of inputs such as spare parts, lubricants and insurance premiums is concerned.

Dr Anane stated that the long-term solution to the plight of ordinary commuters still lies in the ability of the government to increase the number of buses for the mass transit system.He said the government is committed to the success of the system and will do everything possible to bring in more buses.Meanwhile, the GRTCC in conjunction with the Ministries of Road and Transport and Energy have announced a 30 per cent maximum increase in transport fares as agreed between the GRTCC and the government in March 2001.

A statement issued and jointly signed by the Minister of Roads and Transport, Dr Anane and Mr Kojo Moses, chairman of the GRTCC, said the detailed transport fares based on the 2001 approved fares will be released soon. It advised transporters not to calculate the 30 per cent increase on the current unauthorised arbitrary increases in fares.

?In arriving at this figure, enough consideration has been given to the interest of the travelling public, the suppliers of transport services and the economy as a whole,? it added. It observed that past adjustments in transport fares have been associated with misunderstanding among owners of transport, drivers and passengers and, therefore, appealed to the travelling public and the various transport owners to accept the new adjustment.