The Minority in Parliament has asked Ghanaians to brace up for a major increase in electricity tariffs after casting doubt on the government’s reduction promise.
The opposition lawmakers say the government has done little to bring the relief it promised in the 2018 budget, accusing it of “playing some gimmicks.”
Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday, Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu said the Minority’s checks at the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) indicate there will be an increase in electricity tariffs.
The government promised Ghanaians in November last year that it will make recommendations to the PURC to consider a 13 percent reduction in electricity tariffs.
The reduction when done will bring “relief to the poor whose individual consumption actually falls in the subsidized life-line category,” Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said during the 2018 Budget presentation.
But the government has cautioned that while it can make recommendations for the reduction, it is the PURC that has the power to do that.
A new PURC Board has been inaugurated but Mr Mutawakilu said he has been informed that the promised recommendation has not been submitted to the Commission.
“You cannot go and announce you are reducing tariffs [because] the PURC as an economic regulator is independent,” he said, accusing the government of interfering in the affairs of the Commission.
But Deputy Energy Minister Dr Amin Adam has refuted the lawmaker’s claims, saying the government submitted the recommendation to the PURC on November 17, 2017.
He said the PURC, in turn, has written to the utility companies to solicit their views on the matter.
“They are due to make their submissions [and] the public will also get an opportunity to make inputs,” he said.
Dr Adam explained the government’s proposal was made based on a number of factors such as the reduction in electricity distribution losses and improvement in the efficiency of power distributors.