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General News of Sunday, 20 August 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Government finally abandons controversial mandatory tow levy

The Akufo-Addo government has announced it will no longer implement a plan to charge motorists a compulsory levy for towing services.

In a letter signed by Transport minister Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, explained public resistance against the levy was enough to dissuade the government.

The minister said, it will scrap the Legislative Instrument LI 2180 backing the implementation of the mandatory tow levy.

The LI was passed in 2012 under the NDC government to empower the National Road Safety Commission to charge all motorists a levy ranging from 10 to 200 cedis based on tonnage.

The plan set for implementation July 1, 2017, triggered massive backlash as gauged on social media.

Government was forced to suspend the plan twice - first in June for further consultations and once again in August after okaying it for implementation following consultations.

No rallies were held but tonnes of messages criticized the plan which would give 85% of the proceeds to Road Safety Management Services Ltd.

The experience and credibility of the company, RSML, owned by Chairman of Jospong Group of Companies, Dr Joseph Opoku Siaw was also questioned following scandals associated with the businessman.

The mandatory towing levy was also seen as a lazy approach to money-making.

Forces of resistance have prevailed with the statement by the government that the state will limit itself to licensing and regulating towing service providers.

It however stated, government will examine new "modalities" for "dealing with the problem of broken down or disabled vehicles"