CONSUMERS of utility service may now heave a sigh of relief, following government’s decision to further reduce utility tariffs to lessen their burden.
Government has allocated GH¢20 million as subsidy to help reduce the rates for all the different categories of consumers.
This was the outcome of consultations among the government, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Trades Union Congress, after their agitation for further reduction in tariffs to save domestic consumers and industry from the stranglehold of the high tariffs announced by the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC).
A dependable source told the Times yesterday that the commission will soon announce the new measures to bring relief to consumers.
Under the new rates, residential tariffs will be further adjusted downwards by 13.7 per cent from the current 38.9 per cent. Industry will also enjoy between two and four per cent reduction rates from the current 144 per cent.
The source said the parties involved were optimistic that the reduction in the utility tariffs would cushion consumers although the AGI had asked that the current tariff increase for industry should be reduced from 144 per cent to 90 per cent.
A technical committee set up by the government to review the utility tariffs announced by the PURC agreed on a 10 per cent subsidy across board for all the different customer classes which translated into a total of GH¢115 million reduction in revenue to the utility companies.
However, the TUC rejected what they called the “marginal reduction” in the tariffs for residential consumers saying the reduction from 42 per cent to 38.9 per cent was insignificant.
So far, the government has spent GH¢135 million to subsidise utility tariffs to reduce the burden on consumers.