Kenyans should expect higher fuel prices in the coming month, Mining and Petroleum CS John Munyes has said.
Also Read: Pain at the pump: ODM puts EPRA on the spot over latest fuel price increase
According to him, there is very little that the ministry can do.
“Kenya charges the highest taxes on fuel regionally. Taxes and levies are the biggest contributors to the prices. As global oil prices escalate we expect the prices in Kenya to increase,” he told the Senate Energy committee on Wednesday.
Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, a member of the committee, however blamed the Senate for the high taxes.
“As a Senate we have failed to regulate the taxes being charged, the Kenyan population cannot be burdened with this,” he said
However Munyes responded saying the ministry and the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) are however working on draft regulations to operationalise the Petroleum Consolidated Fund as provided for in the Petroleum Act to provide for a stable price regime.
He added that National Oil will be charged with the responsibility of storing fuel which the government will buy in bulk when prices are low.
As of March 2021, taxes and levies were the biggest contributor to the pump prices of super petrol and the second greatest contributor to the price of Diesel and Kerosene.
Excise Duty Tax, Road Maintenance Levy and VAT account for the highest tax costs on fuel.
Kenya charges the highest taxes and levies on super petrol, diesel and kerosene compared to other regional countries such as Uganda and Tanzania.
On March 14, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) criticised EPRA over the latest increase in fuel prices accusing the agency of insensitivity.
According to the party’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, the announcement on increased fuel prices poses a danger to the President’s Big Four Agenda items.
“Silence on our part at this time will amount to complicity, and we therefore unequivocally state that we are opposed to this increase in the price of fuel. We demand that this decree is rescinded before it becomes effective,” Sifuna said in a statement.
Sifuna insisted that there is no moral ground on which to levy more taxes on Kenyans. “In African culture, you do not milk a dead cow!” he said.