Motorists in Kenya now have to dig deeper into their pockets after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) increased the pump price of super petrol by Sh1.50.
The latest price hike comes as a precursor to an even steeper increase in pump prices of all petroleum products, with the National Treasury set to start charging value added tax (VAT) on fuel this month.
According to the regulator monthly pricing guide released on August 14, a liter of super petrol on retail costs Sh113.73 in Nairobi, up from Sh112.2 last month.
Users of diesel, however, enjoy some reprieve, with a liter of the fuel going down by 51 cents to Sh102.74.
Poor households that largely rely on kerosene for their cooking and lighting also got some relief after the regulator reduced the price of the fuel by 78 cents to Sh84.95 per liter in the capital.
ERC said the maximum allowable retail prices were due to a slight increase in the price of imported petroleum products.
“The average landed cost of import super petrol increased by 3.08 percent from $737.77 per tonne in June 2018 to $761.55 per tonne in July 2018, diesel increase 0.18 percent (to $683.25 per tonne) and kerosene decreasing by 1.32 per cent (to $721.62 per tonne,” said ERC in a statement.
The proposal to hike fuel pump prices is on the back of a push by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Bretton Woods institution wants the Government to hike taxes on some products in a bid to increase domestic revenue collection so as to slow down on taking new loans.
VAT on the three commonly used fuels and jet fuel has pushed the cost of a liter of super petrol to over Sh130 in Nairobi and well over Sh140 per liter in far-flung towns.
Kenyans on social media reacted angrily to the government’s decision: Under the hashtag #PunguzaBeiYaMafuta #AmendVATAct