The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has disclosed that transport fares will be increased by operators after Parliament approves the 2021 budget.
The union is of the notion that the 2021 budget contains a number of taxes that will affect their operations hence the need for increment.
The Caretaker Minister for Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, during the reading of the budget statement, stated that petroleum prices will increase by 5.7% at the various pumps as well as an increase in road tolls.
He explained that the new tax–the Sanitation and Pollution Levy is meant for funding investment in the areas of sanitation and pollution.
“To provide the requisite resources to address these challenges and fund these activities, the government is proposing a Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL) of 10 pesewas on the price per litre of petrol/diesel under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA),” the Minister said.
“Mr. Speaker, it has become very necessary for the government to consider a review of the energy sector levies. The Energy Sector Recovery Levy of 20 pesewas per litre on petrol/diesel under the ESLA is hereby submitted to this House for approval,” he added.
Godfred Abulbire, General Secretary of GPRTU, in an interview monitored by Africa Articles on Accra based media house Citi TV said various components of the tax will influence the upward adjustment of the fares. Therefore failure to increase the fare will bring adverse effects to their operations.
“The moment Parliament approves the 2021 budget, we are sure that we will come out with lorry fares increased by a certain margin. We don’t want to make reference to the fuel price adjustments because there are other components like the road tolls which have also been increased. Usually, the practice has been that when fuel price is adjusted by a certain percentage then we are also informed to increase fares by a certain percentage equivalent to that effect, but now we can see that from the budget proposals, there are so much into it which will have more effect than the fuel itself.”
The proposal of the new tax has caused disappointment in the general public due to the current economic hardship the country is faced with.