Govt To Cushion Ghanaians Against New Utility Tariffs

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Government will soon announce measures to cushion Ghanaians and industries in the wake of new utility tariffs which took effect this month.
The Public Utility Regulatory Commission announced a 52 percent increase for water, and 78.9 for electricity.

The Trade Union Congress, the Association of Ghana Industries and a section of the public have condemned the hikes describing it as insensitive.
A meeting last Friday between the Vice-President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, TUC and other organized labour agreed on some measures to limit the impact of the increases in tariffs on Ghanaians.

“After extensive and fruitful deliberations, the meeting agreed that the objective of improving the efficiency and viability of the utility companies remained paramount. In order to achieve cost-effective provision of utility services, a technical Working Group was constituted to examine possible scenarios and their implications for the sustainable and efficient provision of the utility services and the respective impact on the national budget.

“Among the options to be examined were mitigation measures that would allow industry and consumers to adjust to any new level of tariff adjustment. It was also agreed that the Working Group will make proposals for the restoration of the Automatic Tariff Adjustment Formula.”

BELOW IS THE PRESS STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT

A Government team led by the Vice President, Mr K.B. Amissah-Arthur, today met in a working session with stakeholders who have been affected by the recently announced utility tariffs to discuss the implication of tariff increases and the way forward.

Present at the session were representatives of organised labour, the business community comprising Ghana Employers Association, Association of
Ghana Industries and Private Enterprise Federation as well as the Utility Companies including Volta River Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Grid Company Limited and Bui Power Authority.

It was observed that none of the stakeholders was happy with the levels of tariff announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission.
After extensive and fruitful deliberations, the meeting agreed that the objective of improving the efficiency and viability of the utility companies remained paramount. In order to achieve cost-effective provision of utility services, a technical Working Group was constituted to examine possible scenarios and their implications for the sustainable and efficient provision of the utility services and the respective impact on the national budget.

Among the options to be examined were mitigation measures that would allow industry and consumers to adjust to any new level of tariff adjustment. It was also agreed that the Working Group will make proposals for the restoration of the Automatic Tariff Adjustment Formula.
Staggering utility tariffs to avoid sudden and large upward adjustments is also among the options to be examined.

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