Petroleum consumers petition President to cut down on fuel taxes
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to review some of the tax components in the petroleum price build-up to bring relief to the citizens.
The petition, which was signed by the Executive Secretary of COPEC, Mr Duncan Amoah, and copied to the Daily Graphic, stated that the rising fuel prices in the country had a direct impact on the general cost of living and inflation.
Among a tall list of demands, COPEC requested accountability of the use of the road fund levy of 40 pesewas charged per litre of fuel to know what the fund had generated so far since it was increased from eight pesewas to 40 pesewas.
The road fund is earmarked for road infrastructure in the country and is estimated to yield a minimum of GH¢100 million every month.
Price stabilisation levy
The chamber is also demanding a better and proper explanation for the utilisation of the price stabilisation and recovery levy, which it says is a mitigation for the stabilisation of petroleum prices when prices rise on the local market and international market prices are not mitigated.
For every litre of petrol, there is a 12 pesewas levy and 10 pesewas charge for every litre of diesel on the consumer. The levy was instituted in 2014.
COPEC is also calling on the President to merge the Primary Distribution Margin and the Unified Petroleum Price Fund to ameliorate the burden of consumers on the already packed levies and margins built on the price template.
The unified petroleum price fund levy is 13.5 pesewas per litre, while the primary distribution margin is 7.5 pesewas per litre.
These, according to the petition, seemed to be performing the same function in the price build-up of petroleum price. Those levies were charged to ensure that products moved from one part of town to another without added cost to the consumer.
COPEC also wants a rethink of the BOST margin of three pesewas per litre, since BOST is in fuel trading as all other depots in the country and should, therefore, not be treated differently.
Special petroleum taxes
The Special Petroleum Tax was also up for a rethink. Currently, it is charged at 15 per cent of all ex-depot price, which is a summation of all the taxes.
The chamber wants the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and the Ministry of Finance to critically analyse the tax element on the price build-up. It is currently 50 pesewas per litre.
The chamber contends that fixing of a specific amount instead of the current 15 per cent charge will prevent it from fluctuating or increasing anytime the other indices preceding the ex-depot price increase.
Repositioning of the SPT from its current ex-depot price position to ex-refinery will curtail the element of double taxation as it stands now.
COPEC, therefore, called for the scaling down of taxes on petroleum products, which it says will be much easier on government revenue mobilisation targets if the government plugs the various revenue leakages as far as illegal fuel operators downstream are concerned.