New Fuel Price Looms as Kenyans Continue speculations on 16% VAT tax

The Energy Regulatory Commission(ERC) is on Friday 14th Sept 2018 expected to announce new fuel pump prices since the introduction of the 16% VAT tax on fuel that came into effect on 1st Sep 2o18 that saw a rise in fuel prices.

The National Assembly had overwhelmingly voted for a bill aimed at suspending the fuel tax from taking effect, suggesting that it should take effect s from April 2020.

Since then, president Uhuru Kenyatta has remained silent on the matter even as speculations continue looming day in day out, with his close allies saying that the bill passed by legislators has not yet been assented by the president to become a law.

On Thursday last week, a High Court in Bungoma gave orders suspending the 16% VAT fuel tax following a petition that had been filed by a group of youths in Bungoma.

However, ERC has until now not obeyed the orders given by the High Court, a move that has seen the same group of youths to sue it for contempt of court order.

Kenyans have continued speculating the matter with ERC being expected to announce new prices tomorrow.

On Wednesday evening, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen while on an interview in one of the talk shows in a local Tv station said that the 16% VAT tax on fuel was passed in 2013, then postponed to 2016, then again postponed to 2018.

Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen.

He cautioned that postponing it again to 2020 was just a matter of postponing kenyan problems to a later date which will just have to come and pass.

With the rise in international crude prices last month and the VAT still in limbo but in force, the regulator may not have good news for Kenyans since they either expect a reduction or rise of fuel prices.

ERC’s pricing Friday is clouded in uncertainty with a contempt proceeding on its doorstep for failing to respect a Bungoma High Court order by Justice Stephen Riech quashing the implementation of the 16 per cent levy on petroleum products to enable the President to either assent to or reject the amended Finance Bill passed by the National Assembly.

The dilemma is heightened by the silence from State House with the long wait for President Uhuru Kenyatta who had been out of the country when the VAT kicked in and whose signature the court battle is pegged on.



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