PUWU cautions government on electricity tariff reduction
The Public Utility Workers Union (PUWU) has urged government to be cautious in the proposed reduction in electricity tariffs.
Government in its 2018 budget announced that it will reduce electricity tariffs to bring relief to businesses and domestic users of electricity.
PUWU is however, seeking clarity on how power producing companies will cater for the cost implication of the reduction.
“We don’t know the details about how this is going to work out but we know the PURC itself is supposed to work as an independent body. Tariff setting is something within the purview of PURC. So we were also a little alarmed when we heard this announcement rather through the budget,” Mr. Michael Adumatta Nyantakyi, General Secretary of PUWU, said.
According to him, there is the need for government to explain how it intends to reduce the tariff without burdening the power distribution company.
He stated for example that it is imperative for the Ministry of Energy to give clarification on how the proposed reduction will eventually affect workers’ of the union.
“For us as a workers’ union, if there is going to be a reduction and it is going to affect all workers then it is fair, but the other side of it is what will be the implications on the company that is operating in the sector, he stressed.
Mr. Adumatta Nyantakyi told Citi Business News that even though the union is yet to be engaged on the issue, the decision by government is a laudable one.
He was of the view that government must be careful not to pressure the ECG since it is already struggling with infrastructure development.
“If the cost is going to be cut such that the reduction in the tariff is not going to affect negatively on the operations of ECG and other companies in the sector then fine, but if already the companies are not getting enough resources to meet the expenditure and we are passing the tariff, then we will see how the private operator if they should take over, will work for the good,” he said.