Azimio la Umoja’s bid to block President William Ruto from approving the 16 per cent increment on fuel products suffered a setback after Parliament voted to approve the increase.

This was after the push to amend the clause on Finance Bill 2023 failed to sail through during the voting exercise held on Wednesday, June 21, at the National Assembly.

184 voted to support the proposal while only 88 opposed it.

“A total of 272 members took their votes. Those who voted in favour were 184 and those who opposed were 88,” Gilgil MP Martha Wangari, who presided over the session, announced after the conclusion of the vote.

The approval came after a spirited Parliamentary debate in which Azimio pushed for the VAT to be retained at 8 per cent, while Kenya supported the increment arguing that it would provide enough funds for the state to stabilise the economy.

National Assembly Finance and Planning Committee chairman, Kuria Kimani, defended the increment noting that it will help the Kenya Kwanza administration do away with the costly subsidy programme.

Azimio team led by the leader of the minority, Opiyo Wandayi, argued that increasing VAT to 16 per cent will raise the cost of living.

“If there’s one thing that is going to increase the cost of living in all aspects, it is this proposed increment on the VAT fuel,” Wandayi insisted.

What Ruto Had Said

President Ruto had earlier defended the increase estimating that it will help his administration raise Ksh50 billion – money he insisted will be channeled towards road projects countrywide.

“This 8 per cent we are adding will give us about 50 billion shillings and begin to deal with the problem of roads in our country but to balance it out, I have removed on the same fuel, 3.5 per cent road development levy, 2 per cent of Import Declaration Fee (IDF), and 8 per cent VAT on gas,” Ruto stated during a joint media interview at State House.

Despite his explanation, players in the fuel sector warned that the increment would make the product hit Ksh200 affecting transport and other sectors of the economy.

Public service vehicle operators also announced that the increment will compel them to increase fare charges.

In the fuel prices announced by Energy Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) on Wednesday, June 14, super petrol was reduced by Ksh0.66 to retail at Ksh182.04.

Diesel, on the other hand, was reduced by Ksh1.12 to retail at Ksh167.28.

By kenyans

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