A pump attendant in the city centre. PHOTO | FILEA pump attendant in the city centre. PHOTO | FILE
By Constant Munda, [email protected]

The price of petrol has risen to a 48-month high in the latest monthly review by the industry regulator, hitting private motorists hard ahead of introduction of a 16 per cent tax on September 1.

A litre of petrol now retails at Sh113.73 in Nairobi, a Sh1.53 rise from last month, according to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

This is the highest price at the pump since August 2014 when a litre was sold at Sh116.62, statistics show.

Diesel and kerosene consumers, however, got a reprieve after the prices dropped marginal by Sh0.51 and Sh0.78 per litre.

Diesel, used for powering commercial vehicles, farm machines and industries, retails at Sh102.74 per litre from last month’s Sh103.69.

POOR HOUSEHOLDS

Poor households, who depend on kerosene for lighting and cooking, will pay Sh84.95 per litre at the pump.

“The changes in this month’s prices have been a consequence of the average landed cost of imported super petrol increasing by 3.08 per cent from $738.77 per tonne in June 2018 to $761.55 per tonne in July 2018,” ERC Director-General Pavel Oimeke said in a statement.

A tonne of imported diesel and kerosene cost 0.18 per cent and 1.32 per cent more at $681.99 and $721.62, respectively, last month compared with June.

Motorists are set to pay even more when the value added tax (VAT), part of the overarching reforms proposed by the International Monetary Fund(IMF), comes into effect from September 1 after a five-year reprieve.

A litre of petrol is likely to cos Sh131.93 in Nairobi from next month when the VAT levy kicks in.

Diesel and kerosene will sell for a record high of Sh119.18 and Sh98.54 per litre.

“This is part of the IMF project and discussions are still going on at the Treasury,” Petroleum secretary John Munyes said of the imminent VAT levy.

GRACE PERIOD

Treasury principal secretary Kamau Thugge, however, said on August 9 that the grace period, which was initially three years from September 2013 and was extended by another two years in 2016, will expire next month.

Government levies will take up the bulk of the cost of a litre of petrol from next month with VAT at nearly Sh18.20 and fuel levy managed by the Kenya Roads Board at Sh18.