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Sh34.44b to be released to oil marketers as fuel subsidy after Pres. Uhuru signs Supplementary Appropriation Bill

President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the first supplementary budget estimates for the years 2021-2022 into law, paving the way for Ksh.34 billion to be released to oil marketing corporations (OMCs).
The bill’s passage is considered as opportune in alleviating the present fuel scarcity, which has been connected to product hoarding by OMCs as they press for payment of fuel subsidy arrears. Fuel shortages have erupted across the country as a result of the payment standoff, with vehicles and bodaboda riders queuing for hours to purchase the essential commodity.

According to the Ministry of Petroleum, the supplemental budget allocation is intended to offset payments of Ksh.13 billion owed to marketers, with the remainder likely to cover future subsidy payments. The government would pay the OMCs’ invoices on Tuesday, according to Petroleum Principal Secretary Andrew Kamau, who told NTV on Sunday. By permitting exchequer disbursements to the subsidy, the signature of the budget estimates is likely to pave the way for an end to the gasoline crisis standoff. The government and OMCs are at odds over nonpayment of subsidy arrears, with the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) ordering marketers to release petroleum supplies while waiting for payments from the fund.
EPRA has also threatened dealers who are stockpiling fuel or selling products above the published price with punishment. Kenyans who were forced to endure yet another shortage on Monday will now be hoping for the subsidy payments to be wired to the marketers and for supplies to be restored quickly. As the fuel scarcity enters its second week, long lines at gas stations are expected to persist for the better part of Monday in most regions of the country. The fuel shortage began on Monday of last week, with independent oil marketers being the first to fill the gap, which EPRA initially attributed to a logistical snafu. On Saturday, the energy sector regulator would finally clear the air on the standoff, revealing that payments from the subsidy fund to OMCs had been delayed.
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