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Gov't to impose fresh taxes on petroleum products - Kweku Kwarteng

A minority member on the Finance Committee of Parliament Kweku Kwarteng says government is threatening to impose new taxes on petroleum products.

According to him, a bill has been presented to Parliament which proposes a number of taxes including recovery margins.

He served notice the Minority in Parliament will oppose any attempt by government to introduce fresh taxes on petroleum products.

He made the revelation on Joy FM’s news analysis programme Newsfile, Saturday. He was commenting on the petroleum price reduction announced this week.

He agreed with critics that the 10-15% price reduction announced could have been reduced even further but was even more concerned about the new taxes he said government intends to impose.

He named the recovery margins as one of the taxes, hinting the Minority will oppose it.

"In the name of this deregulation a few things are happening which i think must stop. Government is inserting some taxes. We are now beginning to hear about recovery margins; stabilization margin was there in the earlier LI but it was never operationalised because there were  under recoveries anyway.

He explained the recovery margins may be for subsidies, but said that margin is unlawful.

"If government wants to subsidize any product it is government expenditure and it must find a way of doing it. If government wants to do it through taxation it must be transparent about it," he indicated.

He also suggested that government is now seeking to implement the dormant stabilization margin that has been abolished by the court.

"Not only is it illegal," he said, but it attempts to regulate prices when there is a general policy by government to move away  from influencing the prices of petroleum products.

A member of the NDC legal team Abraham Amaliba said the NPA has a responsibility to explain to Ghanaians the differences in the prices.

"They are the regulator and as a regulator when one side feels shortchanged then they have a responsibility to explain to the public," he said.

He also challenged critics of the deregulation policy to show evidence that the OMCs are shortchanging Ghanaians for the appropriate action to be taken.

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