Energy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Davies Chirchir has told the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) that Kenyans should brace themselves for more pain at the pump as Israel – Hamas war could push prices to Ksh300 per litre.
Speaking at the NDC, the CS stated that the ongoing conflict in Israel will hit global crude prices which will see pump prices rise further.
This is likely to hit manufacturers hard and Kenyans who are already feeling the hit following increased costs of commodities.
“I read an article in theFinancial Timesthe other day that because of the Hamas and Israeli War, the international prices could go up to USD150 and that would literally mean our products going to a high of Ksh300 at the pump,” CS Chirchir told NDC.
The CS was responding to questions on what the ministry is doing to cushion Kenyans from the rising cost of living.
A litre of petrol is currently retailing at Ksh217 per litre, the highest in history. Kenyans started the year with petrol at Ksh177 per litre.
The removal of the subsidy and upward review of Value Added Tax (VAT) on fuel from 8 per cent to 16 per cent saw the price of the commodity hit an all-time high.
Chirchir told the Kimani Ichung’wah and Kalonzo Musyoka-led committee that the ministry was doing everything within its power to curtail further hikes which could push Kenyans into an economic crisis.
”So we are almost managing scaling the heights as we chew the gum every day to make sure we do manage this frame,” CS Chirchir noted.
”These are products which are real drivers of inflation so we are consciously working on it on a day-to-day basis to make sure that although it’s a global challenge, we do obtain the best prices for our country.”
President William Ruto’s administration has faced backlash after it increased taxes on fuel and scrapped subsidies which were introduced to keep the prices low.
Calls to scrap some taxes which take up to half the cost of every half a litre of fuel have been ignored. Manufacturers have been forced to increase prices of commodities as production and distribution costs escalate.
Executives have also cut jobs and halted hiring amid the tough environment.