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Rotich says petroleum tax will be reviewed "shortly"

Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich
Treasury secretary Henry Rotich. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The unpopular 16 per cent Value Added Tax on petroleum products will be reviewed “shortly” following national uproar since the levy was enforced on September 1.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich said his ministry was in final stage of striking a deal with the National Assembly following discussions which started last week.

“We are looking at options of reviewing it and that discussion is at final stages. I can’t give you any direction at the moment,” Mr Rotich told reporters in Nairobi on Thursday.

The imposition of 16 per cent levy on petroleum products from September 1 has caused a countrywide uproar, with public transport players hitting passengers with a 40 per cent raise on fares.

Legislators unanimously voted to amend Finance Bill 2018 to defer the VAT levy on fuel for a further two years to September 2020.

The imposition of the levy on petroleum products was initially suspended for three years when the VAT Act 2013 was enforced, but MPs extend the grace period for two years which expired on August 30.

Mr Rotich did not, however, disclose if the discussion were around postponing it for another two years or reducing it.

“Review means exactly that: review.  We will advise you as soon as that is concluded,” he said.

The enforcement of the levy has caused a countrywide uproar, with public transport players hitting passengers with fare raise of up to a 40 per cent.

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