On Monday, January 16, 2023, when many Ghanaians, especially individual bondholders were still grappling with the effect Domestic Debt Exchange Programme was going to have on their lives and livelihood, should the government go ahead with its proposed hair cut, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), announced that effective February 1, 2023, electricity and water tariffs by 29.96percent and 8.3 percent respectively.
According to the PURC, four key factors were considered in the determination of the rate for the first quarter of 2023.
“These were the GhanaCedi/US dollar exchange rate, inflation, generation mix, and the weighted average cost of natural gas,” a release on January 16 detailed.
It, however, added that since the increment in the last quarter of 2022, the various indicators have changed significantly therefore utility companies are “under-recovering and require an upward adjustment of their tariffs in order to keep the lights on and water flowing.”
The proposed increment is coming a time Ghanaians, are still grappling with a sustained rise in inflation, which has brought about an increase in general prices of goods and services.
consumer inflation rose to 54.1percent year-on-year in December, up from 50.3percent the previous month and its highest level in 22 years, driven by fuel, utilities and food, the Ghana Statistical Service said last Wednesday.
The Ghanaian society is buffeted on all sides by self-inflicted crisis mainly as a result of harmful influences occasioned by maladministration and the political class is indifferent, then, we will have every reason to be disturbed.
Bearing in mind the economic reality on ground, to ask Ghanaians to pay more tariff for electricity and water, would be gagging the people who have already been overly stretched by the reason of the constraint in economic activities that have translated to little or no resources to lots of them.
To allow this hike, would be yet another untoward distress meted out to Ghanaians, which appears rather punitive in nature, and most uncalled for
As a newspaper, we see this new tariffs adjustment, as an act that smacks of gross insensitivity on the part of the government amid high level of poverty and suffering among the populace.