Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr has revealed that the Government of Ghana has been compelled to increase prices of commodities, especially fuel, frequently to meet conditionalities demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Pratt, speaking on Accra-based Peace FM on Friday said the government, acting in accordance with the Breton Woods Institution’s directions, has to ‘review’ commodity prices fortnightly to satisfy the IMF.
“The truth about the increase of fuel prices every two weeks is (that it is) as a result of the IMF programme…,” he said.
Government, acting through the Public Utilities Regulation Commission (PURC) increased electricity and water tariffs by between 15 and 52 percent on July 1.
This has sparked silent protests among Ghanaians with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) claiming they would resist ‘unreasonable’ price increments.
"We find it extremely difficult to understand why the government would even contemplate further removal of subsidies and deregulation of fuel and utility pricing in the midst of such economic and social crisis…it is unacceptable for the government to deregulate fuel and utility pricing while restraining wage increases," TUC Secretary-General, Kofi Asamoah said in a statement.
But Kwesi Pratt said the IMF, which Ghana engaged to gain policy credibility, should be blamed for the increment.
Within the IMF conditionalities, Pratt said, is the requirement to ‘review’ commodity prices regularly and Ghana’s current economic woes suggested an upward review.
With an IMF report claiming Ghana’s economy is on track, Mr Pratt said it means Ghanaians should brace themselves for more tariff increments in the coming weeks and months; and added that the IMF only commend a country when it does their bidding.
“If we are not lucky, every two weeks, the prices would be increased…and can you imagine the psychological effects,” he wondered.
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