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PURC Has Failed To Protect Consumers – Manteaw
 
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30-May-2016  
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The Campaign Coordinator of the Integrated Social Development Center (ISODEC), Dr. Steve Manteaw, has criticized the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC) for failing to execute their mandate of regulating the quality of utility services.

According to Dr. Manteaw, the PURC only focuses on the regulation of prices instead of also ensuring consumers are afforded quality utility services.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, he explained that the regulation of the quality of utility provision would ensure consumers get value for money.

“There is more to their function than just regulating prices. They have to regulate standards, they have to regulate quality. They have to ensure that consumers get value for their money such that one would expect that when the EC brings in the meters’, they will be submitted to the Standards Board for independent calibration before being installed and the institution that must ensures that this happens is the PURC.”

90 percent of ECG meters not calibrated The Public Agenda newspaper has revealed that over 90 percent of the meters imported were not calibrated to international and local standards. These revelations come amidst widespread complaints from customers using post-paid and pre-paid meters who say they are being overcharged.

The complaints compelled the PURC to direct the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), to suspend the implementation of their new billing software until further notice. The PURC has failed Ghanaians According to Dr. Manteaw, also the editor of the Public Agenda, the recent developments in the utility sector should be attributed to the regulatory failings of the PURC.

“I regret that the PURC has disappointed Ghanaians so much. All they have been doing since I have come to know that organization is regulating prices and fixing prices… The PURC has the mandate to ensure that these meters that are installed are reading correctly. But they haven’t done that and that is part of the reason we are having these faulty billing.”

Learn from the NPA Dr. Manteaw cited the National Petroleum Authority NPA as a model regulatory institution indicating that every year, they routinely visit fuel stations for unannounced inspections to ensure fuel pumps are properly calibrated after the Standards Authority’s initial calibration. He noted that the NPA, unlike the PURC, prioritized the regulation of the quality of services provided to consumers in the country.

“I think the only institution that appears to be doing the right thing, which is combining price regulation with quality regulation and trying to ensure that we don’t have monopolistic tendencies in the industry, is the National Petroleum Authority. PURC in particular only focuses on prices and doesn’t care a hoot about the quality of services consumers are receiving.”
 
 
 
Source: Citifmonline.com
 
 

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