Fuel prices slashed after public outcry

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 14 – Fuel prices went down slightly in the latest review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) released Thursday after a month of public outcry over consistent increase.

In the latest review, EPRA adjusted the fuel prices until mid next month by an average of Sh 5 for petrol and diesel with Kerosene going down by Sh7.28 per litre.

The government has been under sharp criticism since mid-September when the commodity’s retail price went up by an average of Sh9.

Following the Thursday review, petroleum prices in Nairobi for Super petrol and Diesel decreased by Sh5 per liter to retail at Sh129.72 and Sh110.60 respectively while that of Kerosene decreased by Sh7.28 to retail at Sh103.54.

According to the EPRA Director-General Daniel Kiptoo, the prices were slashed despite an increase in the landing cost.

He sad the government will utilize the Petroleum Development Levy to cushion consumers from the high prices.

In Mombasa, Super Petrol will retail at Sh127.46, Diesel Sh108.36 and Kerosene at Sh101.29.

In Nakuru Super petrol will retail at sh129.24, Diesel sh110.43 and Kerosene at sh103.39.

The National Assembly Committee on Finance had on Wednesday recommended a reduction on taxes and levies through tax law amendments to cushion Kenyans from the spike in fuel prices in the recent months.

The committee tabled a report before the House on Tuesday seeking to reduce the Petroleum Development Levy charged on Super Petrol and Diesel from Sh5.40 to Sh2.90.

Fuel consumers have been contributing to the levy kitty provided for fuel price stabilization in the country, with the highest contribution per litre of fuel being Sh5.40 under the Petroleum Development Levy Fund Order (2020) leading to an increase in the cost of petroleum products.

The exchequer had said that fuel taxes and levies account for about 14 percent of the annual national government revenues and a reduction will mean that either the national government reduces its expenditures or incur more debt to bridge the financing gap.

Lawmakers who interrogated treasury officials urged the ministry to use legal financial mechanisms to bridge the gap.

“The National Treasury should prepare Supplementary Estimates for consideration which shall reflect the reduction in revenue occasioned by the amendment,” the report recommended.

Other taxes which the committee wants lowered include the excise duty VAT on LPG, the ream recommending the halving of the prevailing 16 per cent rate which has been linked to an aggressive increase in the price of cooking gas.

The committee further asked the House to order the National Treasury to initiate the process of reverting Sh18.1 billion that was misapplied on infrastructure spending back to the Petroleum Development Levy Fund for purposes of stabilization of fuel prices.

The report’s revealed that Sh18.1 billion meant for price stabilization had been channeled to fund infrastructural projects.

The finance committee also sought to offer a remedy to the misapplication of the fund by recommending amendments on the Petroleum Development Levy Act, 1991 to provide for formation of a board that will guide the utilization of the stabilization fund.

“The Fund shall be managed by a Board similar to the Roads Maintenance Levy. The Fund shall be used for stabilization of fuel prices and for matters relating to the development of common facilities for distribution or testing oil products,” the report recommended.

Ndungu Jay

Jay is a content creator at nairobitimes.co.ke with more than a year's experience in digital media. Armed with a Degree in Computer Science from Jomo Kenyatta University of agriculture and technology and an article already appeared on a US publication's website, he is exploring his chances of climbing up the Kenyan digital media ladder with a special focus on viral enriching content.
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