An Economist at the Department of Economics of the University of Ghana, Dr William Baah-Boateng says planned demonstrations by pressure groups and political parties are not the solutions for tariff reduction.
Dr. Baah Boateng was speaking Monday on Adom FM’s evening “Burning Issues” programme which was also transmitted live on Asempa FM.
A civil society group calling itself Transparency and Accountability Forum (TAF) has hinted of a massive demonstration on Thursday 3, October 2013 to protest the recent increment in utility tariffs.
The demonstration dubbed “yentua demo” to wit ‘we will not pay demonstration’, according to the group, will be held in Accra and replicated nationwide.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) last Wednesday announced a 52 percent increment in water and 78.9 percent increment in electricity tariffs effective October 1, which TAF believes is not fair.
TAF earlier on tried to seek a court injunction to stop the PURC from adjusting the prices of electricity and water but this was rejected by the court.
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) also plans to hold the long awaited anti-corruption demonstration scheduled to take place in Accra, Thursday October 3, 2013.
A statement signed by the Convener of the Party’s anti-corruption campaign coalition, William Dowokpor, said: “Partners in the anti-corruption campaign unanimously agreed to take the action under the theme: ‘Ayefe Notse Anti-Corruption Demonstration’”.
But Dr. Boateng believes the numerous demonstrations will not solve the tariff adjustment problems.
“The demonstrations will come on but yet still we will pay the same tariffs that have been increased by the PURC” Dr. Boateng asserted.
He says he sees nothing wrong with the adjustment but the timing is not fair to consumers, arguing that it was not fair for the PURC to wait for three years before pushing through huge tariffs.
“Moving forward as a country, the regulators must not wait for more years before they propose tariff increment” Dr. Boateng emphasized.
Dr. Boateng has therefore cautioned the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the Ghana Water company Limited (GWCL) and its stakeholders must work to the satisfaction of the consumers as they have increased the tariffs taking effect from October 1, 2013.