Account for ¢1.26bn accrued from PSRL since 2015

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

The Institute for Energy Policies and Research has asked the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta to account for the ¢1.26 billion accrued from the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy (PSRL) since 2015.

The institute referred to a press release by another energy think tank, Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), in which ACEP  estimated the total amount paid by Ghanaians as a result of PSRL to be ¢2.53 billion.

As per the Act 899, part of this levy is to subsidize premix and residual fuel oil and the balance to be used to stabilize petroleum prices for consumers.

Last week, INSTEPR  said, the President gave executive approval for the PSRL which is currently GHp16 for Gasoline and GHp14 for Diesel, to be reduced to zero. This reduction, we are told by government is to help Ghanaians in these times of high petroleum prices.

“We welcomed the announcement as good news because the average Ghanaian driver will save GHp64 per gallon of gasoline.  The next logical question is, where is the PSRL money?

‘“In 2015, the government introduced the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy under the Energy Sector Levies Act 899. The fundamental idea behind this levy is simple; When international Petroleum prices are low, Ghanaians through this levy will pay an amount into an account and when prices are high this money put aside for a rainy day, will be used to stabilize prices’,” a statement issued said.

It added “Very laudable policy, right? We have all been paying this levy since 2015 till date and from ACEP’s calculation, there should be about GHS 1,263,928,479.69 in that account for price stabilization. If there is ever a time Ghanaians wanted help from our government, I think now will be a good time.

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“We are just about recovering from COVID-19 pandemic, prices of goods are very high because of high shipping cost, wages have not increased much, and the international petroleum prices is going up every day. Ghanaians are not asking the Finance Minister to borrow to help us, all we want is our ‘susu money’ to help us in these difficult times.

“Our members of Parliament who passed the Act, are supposed to ask for accountability but we are yet to see them fulfill their duties. When Parliament resumes from recess, they will have to approve the reduction of the levy. We hope the Mines and Energy committee demand the whereabouts of this money and how Government intend to use it. 

“The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) are only happy to implement margins and Taxes but not for once be on the side of the suffering Ghanaians. NPA as sector regulator should present a plan to the Energy Minister and Finance Minister on how the GHS1.26 billion will be used to stabilize prices.

“We should all in one voice demand accountability and proper utilization of the PSRL. This cannot be another TOR Debt Recovery Levy, which we have been paying for over 10 years but TOR still owes water bill. Just reducing the PSRL is not good enough and we are prepared to explore legal options if government does not put forward a plan to help us with our own money.”

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had granted approval to zero the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levies on petrol, diesel and LPG for two months.

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A statement issued by tye National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said the approval follows the advice of the NPA to the Minister of Energy to seek government’s intervention to mitigate the impact of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers.

Prices of crude oil and refined petroleum products, according to the NPA, have seen sharp increases on the world market due to a rise in demand of oil globally without a corresponding increase in supply, particularly from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Because pricing of petroleum products in Ghana is deregulated, changes in prices of petroleum products on the world market have a direct impact on prices at the pumps, the NPA further stated.

“The outlook of prices on the global market shows an upward trend and therefore there was the need to seek government’s intervention to lower the levies to cushion consumers from feeling the full impact of these rising prices.

“The purpose of the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) is to stabilise prices for consumers and pay for the subsidies on Premix Fuel and Residual Fuel Oil (RFO). At this time it is important that the PSRL which is currently sixteen pesewas per liter (GHp16/Lt) on petrol, fourteen pesewas per litre (GHp14/Lt) on diesel, and fourteen pesewas per kilogram (GHp14/Kg) on LPG are zeroed to cushion consumers.

“The NPA will work with the Ministries of Energy and Finance to quicken the legislative processes to give immediate effect to this directive by the President.

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“We are grateful to H.E. the President for granting the request to zero these levies to minimise the effect of rising prices of petroleum products on the world market on consumers in Ghana.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana