Following the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s announcement of increases in utility tariffs, a Management Consultant and a Lecturer at the Ho Polytechnic and E.P University College in Ho, Mr. Israel Kofi Nyarko is calling on government and the PURC to defer the implementation of the new tariffs to January 2014, this he said will enable businesses and individuals to properly plan their budgets to reflect the increases.
The PURC on Wednesday announced a 52 percent increment in water and 78.9 percent increment in electricity tariffs which will take effect from October 1.The announcement comes after the service providers made a strong case for an increment.
But speaking on US FM in Ho, Mr. Nyarko described the increases as bizarre and said its implementation will negatively affect the operations of businesses and individuals since they have not budgeted for the increases.
“We are in the middle of the year and people are implementing their budgets, and we are being slapped with this kind of increment, it is going to affect the entire operational budget of every institution including every individual. Recently, government was only able to adjust the salaries of workers by 10%, just something marginal, what kind of adjustments are we going to do”? He quizzed.
Mr. Nyarko urged government and the PURC to defer the new tariffs to next 2014 to enable businesses and individuals to properly budget for the increments.
“We have barely three months to end the year; this increment should be deferred to next year. Government should help us end the year, So that institutions can factor the increments in their budgets next year”.
He also gave an alternative that the new tariffs should be splinted to allow consumers to pay a percentage for the rest of the year and the rest implemented next year.
“Since government has given us just 10%, they should split the 78% and 52%, and say that from now to December we should pay 15%, so that next year they will add the rest to it”.
Mr. Kofi Tenaso-Gbedemah, a civil society activist, who also spoke the same network, supported the lecturer’s call but also urged the utility providers to also improve on their efficiencies so as to cut down on wastage in the system.
Some residents have also expressed their displeasure about the tariff increases, saying its implementation will bring untoward hardship on them especially coming on the heels of recent fuel price hikes and subsequence increases in transport fares.
“We are dying, how much increment has been given to workers recently, where do they want us to get money to pay for these tariffs. What mature services are they giving us for us deserve this punishment?” Charles an angry resident said.
They are therefore appealing to the government to halt the implementation of the new tariffs until 2014.