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General News of Sunday, 11 March 2018


Publish details of recent electricity tariff cuts - Ayariga charges PURC

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central has charged the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to publish details of the calculations that resulted in the recent electricity tariff cuts.

Mahama Ayariga said the upcoming reduction is based on 2015 figures which do not reflect the figures of 2018, describing the reduction as deceptive.

He is, therefore, urging the PURC to publish and gazette the 2018 figure “so that we do not use the 2018 figures to calculate the percentages of the decrease and net profit to consumers.”

According to him, there is the possibility that power generators and distributors are charging the consumers more.

“I believe that this reduction we have seen if we interrogate it, I am very confident that we might even get more,” he told Samson Lardy Anyenini host of news analysis programme, Newsfile, Saturday.

Effective March 15, residential users will enjoy a 17.5 percent reduction in tariffs while non-residential customers will see tariffs cut by 30 percent.

The government says the reductions were as a result of negotiations with the power generators.

But the former Sports Minister said government could do more.

According to him, power producers enjoyed tax exemptions during the John Mahama regime.

He recounted that some of the exemptions ran close to $100 million which helps to reduce the final cost charged the consumer in tariff determinations.

Mr Ayariga also wants PURC to investigate the cost structure that power generators and distributors are using to set their prices since there is the likelihood the companies’ may factor their inefficiencies and waste during production and pass it on to the consumer.

“Because I haven’t been directly involved in the mechanics of determining pricing with the PURC, I don’t know if those huge exemptions that we granted these power generators were actually passed on to the consumers,” he noted.

He, therefore, does not see anything miraculous when about the Akufo-Addo reducing tariffs.

“Whoever sat and negotiated paid attention to details of whatever everybody was telling them in terms of cost of production, transmission and distribution.

“I urge that we should even go ahead and interrogate the figures…I believe that consumers can pay a lot less. Let’s also be sure that the PURC is being factual with us in terms of what has happened with the tariff reduction,” he said.