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NPA, BDCs call for debate on fuel subsidies

The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) and Bulk Oil Distribution Companies (BDCs) are calling for the reopening of debate to scrap subsidies on fuel. Both entities say there is need for a public debate on whether or not the government should continue spending millions of cedis on subsidies, instead of channelling the money into the provision and improvement of infrastructure. The government currently owes bulk oil distribution companies (BDCs) about GH¢1.3 billion, representing subsidies on petroleum products from July 2011 to December 2013. The government’s failure to settle the debt on time has led to the banks withdrawing letters of credit (LCs) for the importation of finished petroleum products. International suppliers of petroleum products placed a week’s supply of petrol and diesel under lock and key until the BDCs settled their debts. This resulted in the acute shortage of petrol and diesel across the country last week and early this week. The problem got so bad that long, winding queues began forming at most petrol dumps across the country.

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