Legislators mull review of fuel prices
The Senate Energy Committee has started consultations with the National Treasury and the Ministry of Energy to review exorbitant taxes on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel.
Cooking gas is among commodities that have been subjected to value added taxes after the Finance Bill that was signed into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta making it more expensive for Kenyans to acquire a means of cooking food.
While speaking in Mombasa yesterday, Senate Energy Committee chair Ephraim Maina said in the next two months, Kenyans should expect a solution to the continued rise in cost of fuel and gas in the country, ostensibly brought about by increased taxes on petroleum products.
“We are aware that people are going through difficult economic times and we feel the kind of taxes levelled in the cooking gas is a bit too much, this is what we are deliberating and we intend to engage the inistry of finance and energy and see what can possibly be done to lower the cost down because the life has really become unbearable,” he added.
Similarly, the rise in cost of fuel has left many Kenyans suffering from inflation which has been worsened by economic shocks attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit economies hard. Currently the cost of a 13 kg retails at Sh2,350 up from ShSh2,000 in May.
Yesterday the Energy Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) maintained fuel prices, a move that was commended by the committee.
Fuel prices have been on an upward trajectory since the beginning of the year causing more pain to Kenyans.
“Anything that hampers price increase is welcome, we are looking at how we can reduce the prices of fuel and gas low to alleviate the life of the people,” he added.
The monthly inflation data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the overall rate of inflation in June was 6.32 per cent, compared to the 5.87 per cent recorded in May.
The Senate chair downplayed the need to have an oil refinery in Mombasa saying the solution to high cost of fuel may not be having a refinery but to have changes affected on the taxes that are imposed on petroleum products.