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Textile sector agitated over steep hike in utility rates
03
Jul '10
A number of Ghana-based textile and its allied industry companies have been put in a quandary, over the astronomical increase in the various utility charges. These companies may be forced to suspend or shut-down their operations if these high tariffs are not rolled back.

The new tariff rates announced by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and which came in to effect for the industrial sector from June 1, has increased the cost of electricity by 298 percent.

According to industry experts, the electricity energy rates were increased from GH¢9.05 to GH¢27 for special load tariff-medium voltage (SLT-MV), which means an increase of an astronomical almost 300 percent.

In case of water, the experts disclosed that commercial rates grew to GHp180, which means a growth of 63.64 percent, while the rate for public institutions or government departments, rose to GHp154, up 40 percent.

The textile industry as it is, was witnessing a decline in its fortunes and this decision will deal a double-blow. From workforce strength of 25,000 in 1975, the number of workers currently employed by the textile sector industry has dipped to just 3,000.

The number of textile companies has also dropped down from 10 in 1975 to just 3 now. The labour unions have warned of mass joblessness amongst workers if these exorbitant hikes in charges of utility services are not withdrawn by the government.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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