Kenyan households could be forced to pay more to use cooking gas after the government announced it would implement the Finance Bill 2020.
The bill, which was proposed by the National Treasury, removed liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from tax-exempt goods and re-introduced a 14 % value-added tax (VAT) on liquefied gas.
Though it was intended to take effect much earlier, the Treasury asked the MPs to delay its implementation by one year for a further review amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The National Assembly Finance Committee approved the bill but resolved to implement it from July 1, 202, potentially increasing the price of a 13-kilogramme cooking gas by at least KSh300.
Since June 2016, gas dealers and manufacturers have been selling LPG at zero-rated costs after the government scrapped VAT to discourage the use of kerosene and charcoal.
Before the VAT removal then, different cooking gas brands, which retailed an average of KSh2,231, dropped to below KSh2,000 in October 2016.
In 2018, the Energy Regulatory Commission, now Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority had proposed a gas distribution system, commonly known as reticulated gas systems.
This would allow Kenyans to access the clean and precious cooking fuel, just like they do water and electricity, and pay for the piped gas supply on a monthly basis.
The households will be charged per kilogramme of cooking gas consumed.
The regulator had proposed a gradual phase-out of the product from the local market while promoting consumption of clean energy such as solar and liquefied petroleum gas.