Seth Terpker

Government will lose GHC13.6m monthly

It is estimated that government will lose GH¢13.6 million every month due to the reduction of seven pesewas in the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy (PSRL) on diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

This comprises GH¢11.9 million directly from the PSRL on the two products and GH¢1.7 million from the Special Petroleum Tax, which is charged on all taxes on petroleum products, including PSRL.
This figure is based on average monthly consumption of diesel and LPG this year.

Per a directive from the Ministry of Energy and the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) were to reduce the PSRL on diesel by seven pesewas per litre from the current 10 pesewas to three pesewas.

In the same vein, the PSRL on LPG was also to be reduced by seven pesewas per litre from the current 10 pesewas to three pesewas.

Diesel selling at GH¢4.49 per litre

Although the year began with a litre of petrol and diesel selling at GH¢4.04 and GH¢3.99 respectively, as of yesterday, the price for the same quantity each of petrol and diesel had gone up to GH¢4.49 and GH¢4.47 respectively.

Industry players have told The Finder that the drop in the PSRL averted an increase that should have taken effect from December 1, 2017 pricing window, and has stabilised prices.

According to the players, crude oil prices went up by about $18 during the December 1, 2017 pricing window.

During the same period, the cedi also lost some GH¢2.41 of its value, creating forex issues.

8-12 Pesewas increases averted

Consequently, prices of diesel and LPG should have increased by between 8 and 12 pesewas during the December 1, 2017 pricing window, but the reduction in the PSRL averted the increases.

Therefore, analysts argue that the expectation of the motoring public to enjoy reduction in existing prices would not be met.

No reduction in LPG

Bernard Owiredu Donkor, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of LPG Marketers Association, explained that LPG prices could not be reduced because the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) has increased the price of LPG from Atuabo Plant by 0.287 pesewas per kilogramme.

This, he said, was far higher than the 0.085 pesewas per kilogramme reduction the government intervention would have produced.

2.5% Drop in Special Petroleum Levy in 2017

The government in its 2017 budget reduced the Special Petroleum Tax from 17.5% to 15%, and went ahead to scrap the excise duty on petroleum products.

But some analysts argue that scrapping of the Special Petroleum Levy on petroleum products will give more meaning to attempts to reduce fuel prices to cushion consumers following rising global oil prices.

These interventions, coupled with a better management of the economy, which has kept the cedi fairly stable, should have led to the reduction in petroleum prices.

As a result of the deregulation policy in Ghana, prices had to be adjusted in line with increases in crude oil on the international market.
Despite increases in prices of petroleum products, commercial drivers have decided to stay the prices on transport fares, a decision government has welcomed.

A total amount of GH¢3.2 billion was programmed to be collected in 2016, but actual collections stood at GH¢3.3 billion, exceeding the programmed target by GH¢42.64 million, or 1.3 per cent.

Cedi on the ropes

The cedi is depreciating again as demand of the dollar begins to rise ahead of the Christmas festivities.

The local currency, which has been fairly stable this year, has struggled to keep up with the dollar over the past month.

According to Bank of Ghana’s interbank forex rates, the local currency depreciated 3.9 per cent between January and October 31.

The performance of the cedi against other major trading currencies like the euro and the pound sterling is not any better.

Whilst its year-to-date depreciation against the dollar is about 4.6 per cent, the rate of depreciation against the pound sterling and euro has been worse.

Data from BoG shows that the cedi has depreciated by 12.8 per cent against Great Britain’s pound sterling.

It also recorded more than a 16 per cent loss of value against the euro since the turn of the year.