Energy Think Tank, Institute for Energy Policies and Research, is calling on Ghana’s Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, to as a matter of urgency, account to Ghanaians on the GHS 1.26 billion accrued from the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy (PSRL) since 2015.
Referring to a recent press statement by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), INSTEPR said ACEP estimated the total PSRL paid by Ghanaians to be GHS2.53 billion.
“We have all been paying this levy since 2015 till date and from ACEP’s calculation, there should be about GHS1,263,928,479.69 in that account for price stabilization. If there is ever a time Ghanaians wanted help from our government, I think now will be a good time.
“We are just about recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic yet prices of goods are very high because of high shipping cost. Wages have not increased much, and international petroleum prices are going up every day. Ghanaians are not asking the Finance Minister to borrow to help us..all we want is our ‘Susu money’ to help us in these difficult times,’’ Executive Director of Institute for Energy Policies Research, Kwadwo Poku said in a press statement copied to energynewsafrica.com.
RE: WHERE IS OUR GHS 1.26 BILLION? FINANCE MINISTER SHOULD ACCOUNT TO GHANAIANS
The Institute for Energy Policies and Research is calling on the Minister of Finance, as a matter of urgency to give accounts to Ghanaians on the GHS 1.26 billion accrued from the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy (PSRL) since 2015.
In a press release by Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), they estimated the total amount paid by Ghanaians as a result of PSRL to be GHS 2.53 billion. As per the Act 899, part of this levy is to subsidize premix and residual fuel oil and the balance to be used to stabilize petroleum prices for consumers.
Last week, the President gave executive approval for the PSRL which is currently GHp16 for Gasoline and GHp14 for Diesel, to be reduced to zero. This reduction, we are told by government is to help Ghanaians in these times of high petroleum prices. We welcomed the announcement as good news because the average Ghanaian driver will save GHp64 per gallon of gasoline. The next logical question is, where is the PSRL money?
In 2015, the government introduced the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy under the Energy Sector Levies Act 899. The fundamental idea behind this levy is simple:
‘‘When international Petroleum prices are low, Ghanaians through this levy will pay an amount into an account and when prices are high this money put aside for a rainy day, will be used to stabilize prices.’’
Very laudable policy, right? We have all been paying this levy since 2015 till date and from ACEP’s calculation, there should be about GHS 1,263,928,479.69 in that account for price stabilization. If there is ever a time Ghanaians wanted help from our government, I think now will be a good time. We are just about recovering from COVID-19 pandemic, prices of goods are very high because of high shipping cost, wages have not increased much, and the international petroleum prices is going up every day. Ghanaians are not asking the Finance Minister to borrow to help us, all we want is our ‘susu money’ to help us in these difficult times.
Our members of Parliament who passed the Act, are supposed to ask for accountability but we are yet to see them fulfill their duties. When Parliament resumes from recess, they will have to approve the reduction of the levy. We hope the Mines and Energy committee demand the whereabouts of this money and how Government intend to use it. The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) are only happy to implement margins and Taxes but not for once be on the side of the suffering Ghanaians. NPA as sector regulator should present a plan to the Energy Minister and Finance Minister on how the GHS1.26 billion will be used to stabilize prices.
We should all in one voice demand accountability and proper utilization of the PSRL. This cannot be another TOR Debt Recovery Levy, which we have been paying for over 10 years but TOR still owes water bill. Just reducing the PSRL is not good enough and we are prepared to explore legal options if government does not put forward a plan to help us with our own money.
Kwadwo N. Poku