Former Deputy Minister of Power, John Abdulai Jinapor says he will not hesitate to debate against the imposition of new petroleum taxes as proposed in the 2021 budget if brought before Parliament.
John Jinapor, also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yapei -Kusawgu is yet to come to terms with the government’s decision to introduce a Sanitation and Pollution Levy (‘borla tax’) of 10 pesewas on the price per litre of petrol/diesel under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA).
He maintains the move is unacceptable and a lazy approach to raising revenue that will unnecessarily burden the citizenry.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Jinapor suggested that it will be more proper for the government to rather put the taxes on waste and pollution generating products other than fuel.
“Why won’t you put the tax on those pollutants so that it will discourage the use of those polluting materials? You want to tax petroleum users for something unrelated. I don’t think this makes sense and it is something some of us will advocate against in Parliament.”
He continued to make his point saying, “I am surprised that, we are having to endure all this. The increment is unacceptable. From a poignant point of view, I think that it is certainly going to bring more hardship to all of us. It is the easiest way to make money from the citizenry and one of the laziest approaches to do that. This is going to create a major problem”. Why not tax alcohol, tobacco?
The MP proposed a tax on alcoholic and tobacco products if the government intends to raise more money to deal with waste and pollution adding that such a plan will be very much supporting.
“So for instance, if you tax alcohol or tobacco, I will support that kind of tax as a Member of Parliament. But to go and tax petroleum and say you will use it to the clear refuse dump, I don’t think it is proper”, he said.
The government has proposed a 5.7 percent increment in prices of petrol and diesel as part of new levies.
A new 10-pesewa Sanitation and Pollution Levy as well as a 20-pesewa levy to cater for charges on the country’s excess power capacity emerged from the 2021 budget.
Players in the energy sector are already unhappy with the introduction.
Some have even called on Parliament not to approve the new levies.
Ghanaians are currently paying GHS5.4 for a litre after a steady increase from GHS4.8 in January.
Since 2015, fuel prices have doubled; from an average of GHS2.7 per litre then to GHS5.4 per litre on average currently.
Source: Modern Ghana