Independent oil distributors boycotting the implementation of the 16 per cent VAT tax on petroleum products may end up losing their licenses, the Energy Regulatory Commission of Kenya (ERC) has said.
Speaking before parliament on Wednesday, the commissions’ Director General Pavel Oimeke insisted that if the independent petroleum dealers cease transporting the precious commodity, their licenses might end up being suspended or even cancelled.
Consequently, Oimeke revealed that the transporters would be issued with a new deadline to adhere to the Commissions’ orders.
“The ERC has extended the deadline for transporters to comply with its directives to October 1, 2018,” Oimeke said.
The Commission was also keen to clarify that it had not made any errors in the calculations that would determine how much money consumers would pay following the implementation of the tax as earlier indicated by some media houses.
“The retail pump price of petroleum is precise and there will be no further review on its charge until September 14, 2018,” the commission said in a statement.
The distributors have been shunning the tax implementation ever since it took effect on September 1, 2018 and their actions have led to fuel shortage in most parts of the country.
Most fuel stations ran out of both diesel and petrol as long queues of motorists lined up to fill their tanks on Wednesday.
The recently implemented tax saw the price of a litre of super petrol rise to Sh128.70 with the treasury collecting Sh55.16 from each litre sold.
Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau on Wednesday warned distributors engaging in the boycott that their actions were synonymous with economic vandalism.
Speaking at the Industrial Area Petroleum depot where he had initially gone to address leaders of the various associations but ended up addressing a charged crowd of striking drivers; Mr Kamau was unwavering in his sentiments on that the motorists’ actions were causing disruptions in the city.
The drivers however were adamant that their stand would not change until the new VAT tax on petroleum products was scrapped.