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General News of Thursday, 11 January 2018

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Boakye Agyarko blasts NDC MP

The Ministry of Energy has taken a swipe at Adam Mutawakilu, the spokesperson of the Minority in Parliament on energy, for suggesting a possible increase in utility tariffs.

A statement signed by the Head of Communications at the Ministry of Energy, Nana Damoah, indicated that the Minority’s assertion that the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) is considering a major increase in electricity tariffs, contrary the 2018 budget provisions, is unfounded.

The Ministry said the PURC has not communicated its intention to increase tariffs, adding that a major review of tariffs does not necessarily mean an increase as claimed by the Minority.

“In any case, our understanding of the factors that determine tariffs for electricity point to a reduction… We however wish to underline the fact that this allegation is false and that the Minority and Mr Mutawakilu are either being dishonest in this matter or not diligent at all in their search for information,” the Energy Ministry said in a statement.

The statement also debunked assertions by the Minority that government had not made any proposal to the PURC for a reduction in the electricity tariffs.

The Ministry, in the statement, said it submitted a proposal to the PURC in November 2017 for a reduction in electricity tariffs.

“The Minority and Mr Mutawakilu are obviously peddling an untruth in this matter. If indeed they had checked, they would have been informed that the Ministry in November 2017 submitted proposal to PURC,” it said.

It also debunked the claim that it was meddling in the affairs of PURC, explaining that the Ministry’s proposal to the PURC does not amount to meddling in the Commission’s affairs.

Citing section 3(b) of the PURC Act 1997, Act 538, which states that one function of the body is to “examine and approve rates chargeable for the provision of utility services, the Ministry said the proposal submitted for the consideration and examination of the PURC was in accordance with the law.

The Ministry said it took into consideration Section 18(4) of the same Act which states that, “the commission shall, before approving any rates, provide as far as practicable the public utility and consumers affected by the rates a reasonable opportunity of being heard and shall take into account any representation made before it.

The Ministry of Energy therefore assured the general public that it would fulfill its promises, which includes a reduction in utility tariff.