The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, COPEC, says it will engage the National Petroleum Authority, NPA, on how consumers who were charged the 13.5 pesewas Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) circulation levy will be compensated.
The Minister for Energy, John Peter Amewu, last week announced that the NPA has been directed to stop charging the LPG re-circulation levy.
COPEC is already in court to contend that the NPA did not seek parliamentary approval for the levy, and did not also consult with various industry players before the introduction.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Executive Director of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, said consumers who were charged the levy must be compensated.
“There are a few other issues that needs to be thrashed out with the NPA and the Energy Minister. How Ghanaians who probably were inconvenienced by this illegal tax that the NPA had slapped on all of us should be given some refund. Whatever the modalities for the refund would be, I am sure that would be communicated in the coming days, but I suspect that it is likely to be a top-up for those who purchased LPG within the period during which the NPA had slapped that illegal levy.”
“Again, we had also said that within that period anybody who was going to get LPG should insist on a receipt so that when the time comes for a refund, the right people would be able to access that refund,” he said.
Meanwhile, COPEC says it will continue to pursue the case in court despite the NPA’s withdrawal of the levy to set a good precedent for regulators in Ghana.
“Whatever legal action that was taken against the NPA wasn’t a personal issue. We needed to halt any such incident of arbitrariness on the part of regulators in slapping taxes on Ghanaians without following the due process of law enshrined in Article 174 of the Constitution. So, we would definitely want to do some curtailing immediately so that the current NPA leadership or CEO or any future NPA boss would also not take the law into their own hands and slap taxes on Ghanaians without following the due process,” he added.
Cylinder Re-circulation Model
In October 2017, following a public outcry in the wake of the massive explosion at an LPG filling station at Atomic Junction in Accra, the government developed a new Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) policy aimed at curbing explosions and ensuring stringent monitoring mechanisms, as well as creating more job opportunities in the LPG retail market.
The new policy directive for marketing and distribution of LPG in Ghana, using the Cylinder Re-circulation Model (CRM) is also to ensure that 50 per cent of Ghanaians have access to safe, clean and environmentally friendly LPG for increased domestic, commercial and industrial usage by 2030.
But since its inception, the stakeholders in the sector have raised various concerns. They have alleged that some giant multinational companies were behind the government’s decision to implement the Cylinder Re-circulation Model of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution, and that the policy will cripple all local LPG businesses if the government goes ahead with the implementation, amongst others.