A former Deputy Power Minister, John Jinapor, has cautioned government against the implementation of the planned reduction in the price stabilization and recovery levy on some petroleum products without parliamentary approval.
John Jinapor said failure to consult Parliament before the reduction will amount to a breach of the constitution.
“If Government is truly committed to reducing the burden on consumers, it should, as a matter of urgency, proceed to Parliament to seek an amendment of the Act, anything short of this is only deceptive.”
The NPA over the weekend announced that it has reduced the levy from 10 to 3 pesewas on a litre each of diesel and LPG, to cushion consumers from high prices.
Although the development has been lauded by petroleum product users, Mr Jinapor believes it will be in the best interest of the government to seek approval in parliament.
John Jinapor in a statement called on the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), to fully disclose the levy so far accrued from the actual “Petroleum Price Build Up (PBU) instead of the opaque manner in which the prices are being determined.”
Read the full statement below:
I have noted with dismay, media reports the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) is claiming to cushion petroleum price increases on Ghanaians by amending the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (of the Energy Sector Levy Act 899 of 2015 as Amended under Act 946) without recourse to parliament.
Section 5 of Act 899 states that ;
The Minister shall cause to be opened and maintained an account known as the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy to provide:
1. Buffer for under-recoveries in the petroleum sector,
2. Subsidize petroleum prices and
3. Subsidize pre-mix and residual fuel oil.
The Levy imposed on petrol is Ghp12/Ltr, diesel is Ghp10/Ltr and LPG is Ghp10/kg.
It is important to remind the NPA that Article 175 of the Constitution explicitly states that no taxation shall be imposed otherwise than by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament. It further states that Where an Act, enacted in accordance with this article, confers power on any person or authority to waive or vary a tax imposed by that Act, the exercise of the power of waiver or variation, in favour of any person or authority, shall be subject to the prior approval of Parliament by resolution.
If Government is truly committed to reducing the burden on consumers, it should, as a matter of urgency, proceed to Parliament to seek an amendment of the Act, anything short of this is only deceptive.
Moreover, Section 8 (Interpretations) specifically stated that the Minister responsible for the oversight administration of the PSRL is the Minister of Finance and not the Minister of Energy.
It, therefore, comes as a surprise that the Minister of Energy is attempting to arrogate to himself the functions and responsibilities of the Minister of Finance.
At this moment, it is important to demand of the Akufo-Addo led government to account for revenues accrued from the PRSL since assuming office and how the receipts have been disbursed.
Page 21 of the Annual Report on The Management of The Energy Sector Levies And Accounts for the Year 2016 Submitted to Parliament by Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance makes revenue collection projections for year 2017 amounting to GHS415,344,429 from the PSRL.
It is equally important to demand full disclosure from the NPA on the actual Petroleum Price Build Up (PBU) instead of the opaque manner in which the prices are being determined.
The big question is, what were the actual price changes at the pump preceding the so-called intervention by the NPA.
The analysis clearly shows most prices are to remain unchanged even with the full implementation of the PSRL.
John Abdulai JinaporJinapor