Commercial drivers in the country have given the government six days to scrap taxes they call ‘nuisance’ on petroleum products or face their next action.
They have not stated what they will do, but the National Head of Communication of the Coalition of Commercial Transport Operators, Alhaji Imoro Abass, has said their “next line of action would come up if our plight is not adhered to by the government.”
They want the government to remove the taxes on fuel products to bring down the pump price of the commodity.
During a crunch meeting on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, transport unions such as the Ghana Private Transport Union (GPRTU), Concern Driver’s Association of Ghana, Ghana National Cargo Transport Association, and Ghana Committed Driver’s Association resolved it was imperative for the government to remove the taxes.
According to Alhaji Imoro Abass, the introduction of the taxes on petroleum products has affected their business by driving up the cost of doing business and driving down profit drastically.
“The introduction of the levies on petroleum has caused a drastic increment in fuel prices at the pump which automatically is negatively affecting and worsening the burden of transport operators and drivers in the country”, he said.
The transport operators have appealed to the government to scrap some of the new levies and taxes such as the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levies, Fuel Marking Margin Levy, Special Margin Levy, BOST Margin Levy, and the Prime Distribution Margin Levy put on petroleum products and reduce the energy sector, energy debt recovery and fund levy to 30 pesewas per litre.
The Coalition also stressed that per the present economic hardship in the country, the transport operators have no intention to increase transport fares as it would add more burden to the ordinary Ghanaian but they warned that failure on the side of the government to heed to their plea would negatively affect transport fares and would increase the burden and suffering of Ghanaians.
“The transport operators have no intention to announce any upward adjustment in transport fares to add more suffering unto the already overburdened Ghanaians but if care is not taken, our business will collapse, so if the government fails to address the issue, the coalition will take a decision”, Mr. Abass stated.
The GPRTU National Communication Officer again appealed to drivers to be patient and calm as the Coalition takes steps to address the drastic fuel increment with the government.
He also advised Ghanaians, CSOs and other agencies in the petroleum industry to support the transport operators on this issue.
Meanwhile, the government announced the removal of the price stabilisation and recovery levy on petroleum products for two months effective November 1 to bring relief to Ghanaians and transport operators but the transport operators say “that is inadequate and cannot lessen the burden of Ghanaians until all the levies are totally scrapped.”