Research and public policy think tank, CUTS International has reacted to the recent tariff increment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) for electricity and natural gas by 18.36% across all consumer groups.
The decision to increase the tariffs was made after a review for the second quarter of 2023 to prevent extended power outages and their adverse effects on jobs and livelihoods, while also minimizing the impact of rate increases on consumers.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Adomako Kusi Appiah, the West Africa Regional Director of CUTS International expressed surprise at the tariff increment, stating, “I did not see this coming at this time. The last time we had a tariff increment, we were surprised. While PURC gave the indication that it had been occasioned by the cedi-dollar fluctuations and the cost of gas and others, those things are fundamentally true. But I think that PURC should also be concerned about the impact of its actions on the macro-economic performance of the economy.”
Mr. Kusi Appiah suggested that PURC should have held on until the next quarter, especially with the expectation of IMF money to stabilize the economy.
He added that “tariffs are not supposed to increase arbitrarily and that PURC cannot operate like a robot that increases tariffs when prices go up.”
He further cautioned that the tariff increase could have a negative impact on the economy and businesses that are already struggling due to economic hardships.
The organization called on PURC to carefully consider the economic implications of its decisions on consumers and the macroeconomic environment before making any further decisions regarding tariff increments.