The Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) on Monday, August 15, announced adjustment in utility tariffs.
Tariffs for electricity and water effective September 1, are expected to go up by 27.15percent and 21.55percent respectively.
Utility providers since last year, have been making the case for cost reflective tariff, insisting that what consumers currently pay for electricity and water, does not truly reflect the cost of generation and distribution.
Since the unpopular announcement was made, many stakeholders have interpreted the move as inconsiderate given the socio-economic challenges that are widespread in the country.
This newspaper is of the opinion that, tariffs increment is necessary in order to keep the utility providers afloat, but the obvious situation is that, the economy is not as healthy as it should.
Ghanaians are already battling with persistent increase in the price of petroleum product, which have had a cascading effect on the cost of living, as prices of lorry fare and commodities have gone up.
Inflation is also hovering around 31percent and they are no signs things will come down anytime soon.
Burdening the citizens with utility price increases at this time is counterproductive.
We shudder to imagine the extent of the reverberating effect the utility tariffs increment will have not only on households but industry.
The government since 2017, has indicated its intention to industrialize the economy, efforts have been made through One District One Factory, whatever gains it has made, no matter how small must not be eroded with any adjustment in utilities, which is going to increase the cost of production.
The immediate impact of this move will be decidedly negative as many, especially those at the lower rungs of the social ladder, will be adversely affected. Not only has the tariffs been increased, but PURC, has lowest the threshold for life-line consumers as well.
Like most people who have spoken against the increase, we believe the move is ill- timed and should be suspended, because it is coming at a time most Ghanaians are struggling to cope with the impact of harsh dislocations occasioned by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis.