Why Kenyans Will Wait Longer for Cheap Cooking Gas

Ruto and LPG Gas
A photo collage of President William Ruto speaking on March 20, 2023 (left) and a collection of LPG gas on sale(right).

Households who use gas cooking will continue to wait with bated breath for prices of the crucial commodity to come down as had earlier been promised by President William Ruto.

This is after it emerged that Ruto will not be able to fulfill his June 2023 promise when the prices ought to have significantly dropped as a result of financial cushioning by the State.

While addressing the media on Sunday, May 14, President Ruto noted that the 2023/23 budget must first be passed in Parliament before his long-awaited cheaper gas could roll into the market.

''If we had succeeded to have that in the supplementary budgetary budget, then that would have happened from June 1,'' Ruto sought to explain himself to the Press Corps.

President William Ruto speaking during a Media Engagement, at State House, Nairobi on May, 14, 2023.
President William Ruto speaking during a Media Engagement, at State House, Nairobi on May, 14, 2023.

He further explained that the only way for Kenyans to enjoy affordable gas is for Members of Parliament (MPs) to review the proposed Finance Bill 2023, and pass it as soon as possible.

''We realised that if we had to do that then it would have required that we amend some law but as you can see we have that in the current budget.

''We have to remove all the illegal fillers because they are undermining our efforts...what we were reducing between Sh300-500 is the gas cylinder then you will be able to refill gas,'' Ruto stated.

The Finance Bill 2023 seeks to exempt cooking gas from the eight percent Value Added Tax (VAT), the 3.5 percent Import Declaration Fees and the Railway Development Levy of two percent.

“To reduce the cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and make it affordable, reduce the use of biomass fuel and destroy our forests, the Bill proposes to exempt LPG from VAT.

“It further proposes to exempt LPG from Railway Development Levy (RDL) and Import Declaration Fees (IDF)," reads the State House brief.

Ruto asked Kenyans not to lose hope since the government had developed strategies to ensure that, particularly, the price of gas cylinders was significantly lowered.

In his address, President Ruto informed the nation that the government had removed taxes on gas but his plans did not succeed in the supplementary budget, hence leaving the prices unchanged.

Cost of gas cylinder 

Speaking during the launch of the Women Enterprise Fund at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Thursday, March 2, 2023, the Head of State revealed that a six-kilogram gas cylinder will cost between Ksh300 and Ksh500 by June 2023.

He explained that one of the reasons why gas prices were high was due to the cost of cylinders which were highly taxed by the past regimes.

"That eight per cent the government as a tax on cooking gas takes will be removed to allow more Kenyans to have gas,

"We will allocate funds to reduce the cost of cooking gas, a six kg cylinder that is being sold at Ksh2,500, 2,800, will be reduced to Ksh500 or Ksh300," he stated.

President Ruto also noted that security agencies had launched a crackdown on cartels selling illegal gas cylinders that posed harm to households.

While warning unscrupulous gas businessmen putting the lives of Kenyans at risk, Ruto sent a stern warning to individuals extorting money from innocent Kenyans by selling underweight gas cylinders at hiked prices.

"We want to begin to register every person who is filling gas, you must be licensed by the government of Kenya so that we know who is filling what," he added.

Some of the defaced gas cylinders seized by EPRA on Friday January 13, 2023
Some of the defaced gas cylinders seized by EPRA on Friday, January 13, 2023
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