New prices for sachet and bottled water kick in today, December 27, 2021; per an announcement days ago by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Association of Sachet and Packaged Water Producers (NASPAWAP).
According to the statement from producers, the price of a unit of sachet water will see a 50% increment from 20 to 40 pesewas.
Consequently, a bag of sachet water, containing 500ml 30 pieces, will now be sold at GHC4.50 from the retail trucks. Retailers will also retail a bag of sachet at GH¢6.
The 500ml bottled ice water which is sold at GHC1.50, and the 750ml or medium size bottled ice water will be retailed at GHC2 whereas the 1.5L or large bottled water is to be retailed at GHC3.50.
The prices might see some variation in prices across the regions due to haulage to remote and distant areas across the country.
Why the price review
The NASPAWAP statement said benchmark prices provided were to serve as a guide to all regional associations and to ensure uniformity across the country.
The price review, it said, was necessitated by the rising cost of inputs such as fuel, vehicle spare parts, and packaging materials which are mainly imported.
“At our previous review, the Ghana Cedi to the dollar was in the region of GH¢4.50. Currently, it is inching up to GH¢6.50. Fuel prices have also significantly gone up since our last review.
“Regrettably, fuel price reviews attract a lot of public outcries anytime the government imposes the slightest tax on it. However, the public turns a blind eye to taxes on bottled water, which account for the high prices consumers have to bear.
“In the past, producers bore part or all of these huge taxes just to survive, especially in the wake of imported bottled water most of which evade these taxes, but it is becoming increasingly unsustainable for the local water industry.
“It has become necessary that some of these indirect taxes, production, and distribution costs, be passed on to the consumer”, adding that “It is important for consumers to know that any bottled water they purchase has a fixed levy of 23.5% besides VAT/NHIL”
“The fixed levies are made up of 17.5% excise tax plus additional 6% levy before VAT/NHIL. It is unfortunate to know that beer with local raw material content just above 50% attracts 10% excise as compared with 17.5% on bottled water which has over 95% to 100% local content”.
The NEC of NASPAWAP call on the government to engage with all stakeholders to correct this anomaly by 15th January 2022, to help sustain the local water industry and reduce the cost of potable water to Ghanaians.
“Ghana has the highest taxes on locally produced and packaged water in the whole world. Imported bottled water, on the other hand, is evading and avoiding taxes, thus distorting the market, and causing revenue losses to the state”
“The NEC wishes to crave the indulgence of the consuming public to bear with us in our bid to sustain the local water industry,” it stressed.