Kenyans to wait longer for cheap gas – Ruto
President William Ruto has announced that Kenyans will have to be patient as they await the availability of affordable gas.
Speaking on Sunday, the President revealed that the passage of the 2023/23 budget must precede the introduction of the long-awaited low-cost gas into the market.
President Ruto clarified that the government’s current focus is on reducing the cost of cylinders to ease the financial burden on Kenyans.
Although initial plans to remove taxes on gas did not succeed in the supplementary budget, the President said progress was being made in the current budget.
“If we had managed to include this in the supplementary budget, it would have been effective from June 1,” Ruto explained during a joint media interview at State House.
Also read: Ruto announces cheaper gas prices
“However, we discovered that it would require amendments to certain laws, which we have now included in the current budget.”
The President stressed that once the budget is passed and the Finance Bill 2023 becomes law, Kenyans will be able to enjoy the benefits of affordable gas.
He also stressed the need to eliminate illegal fillers that undermine the government’s efforts.
By reducing the cost of gas cylinders by approximately KES 300-500, individuals will be able to refill their gas supplies at a reduced price.
Finance Bill 2023, which seeks to remove VAT on cooking gas, has been tabled in Parliament.
President Ruto’s administration wants to exempt cooking gas from the eight per cent VAT, 3.5 per cent Import Declaration Fees (IDF) and two per cent Railway Development Levy (RDL).
“In order to reduce the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and discourage the use of biomass fuel, which leads to deforestation, the Bill proposes to exempt LPG from VAT,” says a State House briefing.
“It also proposes to exempt LPG from the Railway Development Levy (RDL) and Import Declaration Fees (IDF).”
If approved, the proposal is expected to reduce VAT by KES 256, IDF by KES 112 and RDL by KES 64 on the 13kg cylinders, based on current prices.
In July 2021, the parliament reinstated a 16 per cent VAT on cooking gas after a five-year period during which the tax was suspended in an effort to lower prices and encourage greater uptake.