The Senate Committee on Energy has initiated talks with the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) to halt the hiking of cooking gas, electricity and fuel prices in the country.
Led by the Committee’s Chairman Ephraim Maina, the legislators maintain the hikes continue to negatively impact people’s purchasing power yet they are still grappling with the high cost of living owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at Serena hotel, Senator Maina said that as representatives of the people, they are alarmed at the frequency with which the authority was increasing taxes on basic commodities thus affecting the poor Kenyans who can’t make ends meet.
“Fuel is among the basic commodities that every citizen uses on a daily basis, hiking of fuel prices has come as a blow to the people of Kenya. With these bad economic times that most local business for the citizens has been paralyzed, the government should be considerate on increase of taxation of the basic utilities,” said Senator Maina.
The Nyeri County Senator further noted that it is unfair to increase taxation on cooking gas, kerosene and electricity adding that most Kenyans no longer use firewood for cooking.
“The tax levied on cooking gas is a bit too much, since our duty is to push the government where we feel the action is really hurting people, then we will involve the Ministries of Energy and Finance to see what is to be done. People are suffering,” he added.
Maina assured Kenyans that the Senate Committee on Energy will ensure that in two months’ time, prices are fair and stabilized.
In the market, a domestic cylinder weighing 13kg will now be sold at Sh2100 as opposed to the earlier price of Sh1800.
In Mombasa, petroleum price per litre goes at Sh124.72, diesel for Sh105.27 while kerosene for Sh95.46. These are prices for the month of June to July. This has resulted in an increase of bus fare within the town that has been a blow to the people.
Motorists have complained that the increase of fuel prices has been happening almost every quarter asking EPRA to consider the high cost of living.
Abdallah Mwinyi, a Boda boda rider who operates at Likoni ferry to Mtongwe route complains of losses as he says most passengers are reluctant in paying more despite the riders telling them about the hiked fuel prices.
Fare for a Boda boda ride from Likoni ferry to Likoni town and its environs that previously was Sh50 bob, has now risen to Sh70, which has been highly opposed by passengers. Tuk tuks now charge sh30 instead of the usual sh20.
By Chari Suche