The Chief Executive of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mark Badu Aboagye has lamented the recent hike in utility prices, saying, the increment will “worsen the plight of businesses”.
He believes increasing utility tariffs at the time is not the best move as businesses are yet to recover from the hurdles and difficulties of 2022.
His concern comes after an upward adjustment of electricity and water tariffs announced by Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) on Monday, January 16, 2023.
Effective February 1, utility consumers will pay 29.96% for electricity and 8.3% for water respectively.
Speaking to Joy Business, Mark Badu Aboagye said the country is already reeling under galloping inflation of 54.1%, thus this utility increment will only aggravate the current high cost of living and will worsen the plight of the already impoverished Ghanaian.
“It’s unfortunate they [PURC} had to increase the cost of utilities. In fact cumulatively from September , up to February  when this increment will take effect, you realise that electricity has increased by 57.11% which of course is going to worsen the plight of businesses.”
The country is currently grappling with the increase in petroleum products at the pumps, high inflation coupled with cedi depreciation by 12.7% to a dollar, ranking it second weakest currency among top African currencies.
He is worried that businesses would pass costs onto customers if they are unable to absorb the cost which will further increase the rate of inflation.
“Pick a typical business electricity, cost constituent about 30%. So, anytime time there is an increment, it means the cost of production will go up and I think it won’t auger well for businesses”.
“What will happen is that if businesses are not able to absorb this cost, then they have to transfer this cost to consumers and that may also increase inflation”.
Mr. Badu Aboagye is however calling on the government to “take a second look at it at this time”.
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