The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers, COPEC is asking the government to focus on sealing revenue leakages in the energy sector rather than impose more taxes.
According to the Chamber, billions of dollars are lost to the state from various illegal activities such as fuel smuggling.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Executive Secretary of COPEC, Duncan Amoah, said that strategy will have to be relooked at in order to protect the interest of the average Ghanaian.
“Don’t let us get to another cycle of finance ministers going to Parliament to say government needs revenue, so we are going to pass new taxes, whereas revenue in billions of dollars, per the report you see in my hand which we are yet to be discussed, is being lost to the state on a day to day basis. We will commend Professor Stephen Addai and the board of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for this diligent job but as to whatever becomes of us collecting whatever we deserve from the foreign oil companies, we should activate them to collect those monies so that the state is not found in need of revenues the trotro driver will not have to come and pay for”.
It has become the norm over the years that government imposes taxes, especially on petroleum to raise revenue for the country.
In the events leading up to the 2016 Parliamentary and Presidential election in Ghana, fuel prices became a topical issue in the country especially when former Finance Minister Mr Seth Tekper presented the 2015 budget to Parliament, and introduced a Special Petroleum Tax (SPT) of 17.5 per cent in the 2015 fiscal year.
The then Finance Minister argued that the introduction of the tax was necessary to shore up government revenue as crude oil prices had tumbled below US$30 per barrel at the time as against government projected price per barrel.
The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC) has been at the forefront since last year, calling on the government to ensure it desists from introducing new taxes on petroleum in 2021.