Transport Owners Should Explain Fare Hike Despite Tax Cuts

Deputy Finance Minister-designate, Kweku Kwarteng, is wondering why transport fares have gone up despite tax cuts by government on petroleum excise duty.

He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story programme Tuesday, the citizens need to demand some answers from transport operators for the price hikes that has been described as unfortunate by sections of Ghanaians.

“Parliament has passed the budget with the tax cuts and we need to question them on why this is not reflecting [on the fares],” he said. Related Article: Transport fares up by 15%

Transport fares are expected to go up by 15 percent on Thursday. This was reportedly reached at a meeting between the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) and Transport Ministry on Monday.

Acting General Secretary of the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council, Andrews Kwesi Kwakye, has said the list of the prices would be made available to motorists on Wednesday.

Fare increments in the past have sparked strong arguments between commuters and transport operators. The heated arguments have been blamed on the failure of government and transport operators to communicate price hikes in a timely manner.

The Minority in Parliament have accused the government of worsening the living conditions of Ghanaians with its policies.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs said the decision to cut some taxes was a ploy to deceive Ghanaians.

Government has abolished eight taxes which include the petroleum excise duty and duty on the importation of spare parts.

But the NDC MPs have questioned why transport fares are going up despite the fanfare that greeted government’s tax cuts.

Deputy Minority leader, James Klutsey Avedzi, said the fare increment will affect prices of general goods in the country if government does not act. Mr Kwarteng whose approval as a Deputy Minister is due in the coming days said it is important government streamlines the transport industry to make it responsible.

He hinted government will be meeting transport operators to understand the reasons that went into the determination of the new fares.

“Government will be engaging with the transport owners to understand the hikes so that going forward it will inform its next action,” he said.

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