Leaders hold fuel crisis meeting;High Court halts 16% VAT

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The fuel crisis meeting between the Treasury CS Henry Rotich (centre) and parliament leaders was chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi (right)
The fuel crisis meeting between the Treasury CS Henry Rotich (centre) and parliament leaders was chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi (right)

An informal closed-door meeting, chaired by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi was convened at the National Assembly buildings on Thursday morning, addressing the Finance Bill 2018 as the fuel crisis rumbles on. Treasury CS Henry Rotich, Attorney General Paul Kihara, Majority Leader Aden Duale, departmental committee chairs Kimani Ichungwa (Budget) and Joseph Limo (Finance) were in attendance.

The Finance Bill has been the centre of attention after the 16% VAT charge on petroleum products was implemented on 1st September even after MPs opposed the move, electing to suspend it for a further two years. Treasury CS Rotich said the meeting was convened to discuss the fuel crisis, and more discussions will be held with the parliament leadership to find a solution, Speaker Muturi said moving forward there will be more discussions.

The fuel crisis has reached a new high, as some petrol stations in Nairobi are experiencing a fuel shortage after fuel distributors went on strike. Commuters are feeling the weight of the situation as bus fares have hiked amidst efforts to face the heavy taxations.

Meanwhile, the High Court in Bungoma has issued temporary orders stopping the 16% VAT on petroleum products, with petitioners arguing Treasury CS Henry Rotich went against core constitutional values in arriving at the decision. The case will be mentioned on 12th September.