President Uhuru Kenyatta has rejected the Finance Bill 2018 that was set to shelve Kenyans from the ongoing 16 percent Value Added Tax on petroleum products.
The Head of State had traveled to Beijing for the China-Africa Summit when the law came into effect on 1st of September, leading to the price of super petrol to retail at 127 shillings, diesel at 115 and kerosene at 97 shillings in Nairobi with the prices being higher in other parts.
Members of Parliament had voted to amend the law so that the implementation of the 16 percent VAT on petroleum products could be suspended for two more years to 2020 in a move that would have saved Kenyans from the skyrocketing cost of living.
Kenyans waited for President Uhuru Kenyatta with an abated breath and when he landed, they knew that he would save them but now it seems, they are on their own.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Justin Muturi, had presented the bill to the president on Thursday. The bill now goes back to parliament, where, through a gazette notice, the speaker has called for special sittings on Tuesday and Thursday to discuss the ‘new development.’
Following the President’s decision, all eyes now shift to members of parliament who may be forced to vote to overturn the president’s decision or discuss other ways through which the government can get revenue other than the 16 percent VAT on fuel.
If the 16 percent will hold, then the National Treasury will be getting at least 70 billion shillings in revenues from the same. The move to implement the same is also said to be pushed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that wants the government to ‘widen its revenue net’ to cut down on its borrowing appetite.
President Kenyatta is set to address the nation on Thursday but Kenyans are already ‘furious’ and may have little interest in what the man will have to say.