Kenya Revenue Authority imposed the tax without giving them any notice, if the words of importers are anything to go by. According to them, KRA has increased the levies from $605 (Ksh.70,000) per ton of LPG to $930 (Ksh.108,000) per ton of LPG, a considerable jump of 325 dollars per truck. This is a charge that importers have agreed that they will transfer to the consumers.
“We were not given any notice by KRA about the increase of the taxes, our trucks were just stopped at the border with customs demanding extra monies,” said Yusuf Hussein, the chairman Independent Gas Dealers Association.
The truck drivers are not sure about their safety because some of their tanks have started leaking LPG having stayed in the sun at the Tanzanian border for 5 days awaiting word from KRA officials. “We have been here since Friday and some of these trucks are leaking. We have abandoned some of them at the parking bay because we fear they might explode at any moment,” Jamal Juma said, a truck driver.
This is bound to have a snowball effect because it is clear that the Independent gas dealers have no option but to hike the price at their retail shops. Currently, the price of 6KG gas retails at Ksh. 1200 while that of 13Kgs goes for Ksh.3000. With the introduction of the new levies by KRA, gas will retail at Ksh. 1500 for 6Kgs and Ksh.3500 for 13Kgs. An increase of Ksh.300 and Ksh.500 more.“At the end of the day we are a business, if KRA pushes a cost to us, we have no option but to forward the same to our customers,” said Mr. Hussein.
There has been no response from KRA to explain the immediate change in taxes on gas.
Most of the gas dealers import from Tanzania where they get it at a cheaper price than in buying from Mombasa where it is sold at a higher price from the source.