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General News of Thursday, 28 April 2005

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No Utility Increase before July-PURC

The chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Mr Kwame Pianim, has said utility tariffs will not be increased between now and July this year.

In an interview, Mr Pianim said the situation had not reached the level for tariffs to be increased now.

He would not tell when the public should expect increases in the tariffs because there were various variables that must be considered and the commission would do so when it was necessary.

He said my increases in the third quarter of the year would have to be looked at against the prevailing circumstances, adding that it was not a done deal that prices would go up.

Mr Pianim intimated that it could be possible that the water level of the Volta Lake would rise by July to assist the Volta River Authority (VRA) to generate a mix of thermal and hydro power.

There were media reports in the last two weeks that the PURC was going to increase electricity and water tariffs by next month.

The PURC is an independent body which has the responsibility to regulate the activities of the two main utility service providers, the Ghana Water Company (GWC) and the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).