The Ministry of Energy says it spent an amount of GH¢232 million between December 2017 and June 2018 to provide tax reliefs on petroleum products to Ghanaians.
Sector Minister John Peter Amewu disclosed this on Tuesday in Accra when he met journalists.
According to the minister, the government removed excise duty on petroleum products and reduced the special petroleum tax rate from 17.5 per cent to 15 percent in March 2017.
He said on February 16, 2018, the government reduced the special petroleum tax rate from 15 per cent to 13 percent, converted the special petroleum tax from Ad valorem to specific tax and reduced the price stabilization and recovery levies (PSRL) on 1st December, 2017.
He explained that the reliefs were part of efforts by the NPP government to use tax interventions to mitigate the impact of the high prices of oil on the international market on the country’s economy.
“The revenue loss to government on the removal of the Excise Duty and the reductions of the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy (PSRL) alone between December 2017 and June 2018 amounts to over GH¢232 million.”
He added that “in order to cushion the good people of Ghana from the impacts of increasing world market prices, government has used tax interventions to mitigate the impact of domestic petroleum product price increases.”
Touching on the prices of petroleum products on the domestic market, Mr. Amewu said the government, through the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), made strenuous efforts to ensure that realistic prices were set by Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).”
He further said that “the NPA reviews the indicative prices submitted by each BDC and OMC for every pricing window to ensure that realistic prices are set by them and to ensure consumers are not taken advantage of in a deregulated environment.”
According to the minister, the government has rolled out plans to establish a petroleum hub in the Western Region.
The minister said the move to build a hub is “to house major infrastructure for refining and processing, discharge, storage, distribution, transportation and trading of petroleum products.”
That, he said, would help position Ghana as a hub for refined petroleum products in the West African sub-region and the world at large in the medium to long term.