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General News of Thursday, 10 June 2010

Source: GNA

Vice President calls for annual review of utility tariffs

Accra, June 10, GNA - Vice President John Dramani Mahama has advocated annual review of utility tariffs to avoid rancour and bitterness that normally come between service providers and consumers. "The situation where tariffs are delayed for more than three years, the impact on consumers is often seen to be heavy as we are currently experiencing. I am told that since 2007 tariffs have not been reviewed compelling the providers to go higher than if it was done annually" Vice President Mahama, who made this call in a consultative meeting w ith officials of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC), ministers a nd officials of related companies, said a lot of concerns had been raised si nce the announcement of new tariffs.

The meeting was attended by Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Mr Emmanuel Kofi Buah, Deputy Minister of Energy and officials from all the utility providing companies. The Vice President called on the Volta River Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana and Ghana Water Company to consider re-classifying all their consumers to deal with discrepancies and tariff differentials that were recorded after their announcements.

"Consumers are complaining not because the tariffs are very high, but

because they perhaps do not get quality service and it will only be fair for you to serve them better to justify their payments," he said. He announced that government was yet to take a decision on the distribution of the GH¢48 million subsidy for both the lifeline and the

commercial consumers and called on the providers to offer quality service to justify the current increments

He said plans were also far advanced to provide more electricity transformers to brighten all the dark spots of Accra and other cities. "We have also started providing water too to all the traditional water-starved areas of Accra as water has started flowing in areas like Adenta and Ashongman." Dr Emmanuel Annan, Chairman of PURC said his outfit was organizing series of meetings to ensure quality of service to all consumers.