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General News of Tuesday, 7 January 2003


Price Of Petrol Must Go Up - President

President Kufuor has made it clear that his government will no longer stall the review of petroleum prices. Government has since early 2002 been weighing the political consequences against the economic necessity of an increase in petroleum prices.

After many months of inability to take that decision and save the Tema Oil Refinery from further debt, Finance Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo and Energy Minister Albert Kan Dapaah last week announced that the prices will go up soon.

Giving an overview of his government?s performance last year, President Kufuor in an apparent reference to the issue of petrol prices says it is now time to effect an appropriate increase. ?It is time to deal with the petroleum distortions?, the President said adding that government cannot go on plugging holes in its expenditure.

The President said in his opening remarks at the second in a series of People?s Assembly that the upward adjustment in the price of petrol and utilities will improve receipt of foreign assistance, which contributes 60% of the country?s budget.

The assembly is part of the celebration of the NPP?s second year in office and the tenth anniversary of the fourth republic.