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Road levy puts heavy load on fuel consumers

Motorists and other petroleum products consumers will have to dig deeper into their pockets following yesterday’s move by the energy regulator to push up fuel pump prices. In its monthly guidelines, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) increased the prices by between Sh6.76 and Sh9.53 in line with revenue-raising measures introduced by Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich in June to fund the 2016/17 budget.

But it is diesel that shot up the highest on account of an increase in the Road Maintenance Levy and the cost of importing the commodity. Starting today, petrol goes up by Sh6.76 to retail at Sh92.93, from Sh86.16, in Nairobi. Diesel will cost Sh83.24, or Sh9.53 more than the Sh73.71 last month.

Kerosene went up by Sh3.41 to retail at Sh61.45, but the ERC had already added a Sh7.20 excise duty last month. While issuing the new price price guidelines, ERC said it had factored in the changes in the road maintenance levy and the excise duty on kerosene.

“In this month’s review, ERC has factored Sh6 per litre in additional Road Maintenance Levy for both super petrol and diesel in line with the Road Maintenance Levy Fund (Imposition of Levy) (Amendment) Order, 2016,” said the statement from ERC. The regulator also factored in increases in the cost of the various fuel types when landed at the port of Mombasa.

“The average landed cost of imported Super Petrol increased by 3.03 per cent from $490.18 (Sh49,508) per tonne in May to $505.02 (Sh51,000) in June. Diesel increased by 11.15 per cent from $409.02 (Sh41,311) per tonne to $454.63 (Sh45,917) and kerosene by 2.53 percent from $468.28 (Sh47,296) to $480.12 (Sh48,492) per tonne,” said ERC.

The pinch of the new pump prices will be felt most in Western Kenya. In Isebania, the town on the border with Tanzania, petrol will retail at Sh97.03, diesel at Sh87.52 while kerosene will retail at Sh65.49.

However, the Coastal region residents will pay the lowest prices because of their proximity to the sea port. In Mombasa, petrol will retail at Sh89.53, diesel at Sh79.86 and kerosene at Sh58.61.

Yesterday, People Daily predicted that pump prices would go up by at least Sh6 in line with the Finance Bill, 2016 proposals submitted to Parliament by National Treasury. In his budget speech, Rotich raised the road levy by Sh6 from Sh12 to Sh18 per litre. At the same time, he slapped kerosene with a Sh7.20 excise duty, which he justified as a measure to curb adulteration of diesel.KI

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