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Government can reduce fuel prices – PIAC

Dr Steve Manteaw, Chairman, Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), has said government could reduce fuel prices following gains made in the 2018 budget projections.

“2018 is a good year. Government at the beginning of the year projected petroleum revenue at $57 per barrel but we are currently making $84 per barrel, so I believe government can do something about fuel prices,” he stated.

Dr Manteaw at a two-day engagement with the Ghana Journalists Association on the work of the Committee in Ho, said government could remove taxes on petroleum products to cushion the citizenry.

He said though a downward review of taxes on petroleum could mean a huge revenue shortfall; gains made from the export of petroleum in the (stabilization) fund capped at $300 million could be used to mitigate the effect of removing the taxes.

Dr Manteaw said government could also find other ways of making the populace benefit from the petroleum sector if its fear was fuel smuggling to neighbouring countries.

He said it was unfortunate that though oil find was a blessing to the country, its impact was not being felt with huge revenue leakages.

Dr Manteaw also expressed concern that petroleum revenues were being used to tackle too many national problems at the same time, weakening the impact on socioeconomic development.

Mr Mark Agyemang, a Technical Manager, PIAC, called for well-defined guidelines in the selection of priority areas for investment of oil revenue.

He said the Committee believes that few legacy projects should be identified and supported by the Annual Budget Funding Amount (ABFA).

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