The Chairman of the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Samuel Atta Ahyea has said it has become necessary for the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) to appear before the Committee to explain the decision that went into the upward adjustments of electricity and water tariffs.
The interrogation, according to Mr Atta Akyea, will help in understanding the rationale behind the increment and provide clarity.
Speaking on the mid day news with Martin Asiedu Darteh on TV3 Wednesday, January 18, the Abuakwa South Lawmaker said “We, as a committee, think about the generality of the people of Ghana. If the PURC should roll out any programme or decision and there is not clarity, the people will not understand why, in the circumstances we find ourselves, we should have an upward review of utilities.
“They should appear before the Committee and explain that, is that all you can do? Are there no alternatives that you can do having regard to the kind of economic circumstances we find ourselves in? And then when we interrogate the matter, we, representing our people will be able to tell a good story.
“At the end of the day, the PURC will come out with a decision based on what they perceive as the best option now but until it is interrogated we are not sure why they are doing what they are doing now. So I believe that they appearing before the committee will help tremendously and then we will be able to understand what is going.”
The PURC on Monday Janury 16 announced that electricity and water tariffs have been increased by 29.96 percent and 8.3 percent respectively.
The new tariffs take effect on February 1, 2023.
A statement issued by the Commission said “…The Commission, therefore, decided to increase the average end-user tariff for electricity by 29.96% across the board for all consumer groups. The average end-user tariff for water has also been increased by 8.3%.
“The combined effect of the Cedi/US Dollar exchange rate, inflation and WACOG is that the utility companies are significantly under-recovering and require an upward adjustment of their tariffs in order to keep the lights on and water flowing.”
It added “The PURC is equally mindful of the current difficult economic circumstances but notes that the potential for outages would be catastrophic for Ghana and has to be avoided.
“The PURC, therefore, sought to balance prevention of extended power outages and its deleterious implications on jobs and livelihoods with minimizing the impact of rate increases on consumers”.