Posted on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 15:57

Fuel price increase triggers transport fare confusion

An increase in the price of fuel has triggered an upward review of transport fares in Ghana amid confusion among transport operators and commuters on the new charges.

The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) at the week increased fares by 20 percent in response to Tuesday's fuel price increase by three percent.

But a GPTRU official in Accra said the increase in fares had not been communicated officially, leaving individual transporters to charge whatever they wanted.

Commuters have complained that they were not given any warning about the impeding increase in fares.

In some parts of the capital, Accra, fights broke about between transporters and commuters.

Taxi drivers have also increased their minimum fares by Ghc1.

Deputy Transport Joyce Muntari said it was normal for fares to go up each time there was a review in fuel prices.

Ghana's National Petroleum Authority (NPA) reviews the petrol prices every fortnight.

The regular reviews of the price of petroleum products followed the removal of fuel subsidies in June.

The removal was part of a number of government reforms to reduce the budget deficit.

At the end of 2012 the deficit was 12.1 percent of GDP, almost twice the 6.7% target and the government now wants to lower it to nine by the end of this year.

According to Edward Abrokwah, an economist at the Finance ministry, last year fuel subsidies cost the country Ghc880 million cedis ($438 million).

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