Blow to KRA as court halts fuel tax

by Wakili Liam

The High Court in Nairobi has stopped adjustment on duty rates for petroleum products that was to take effect next month.

Justice James Makau said there will be danger to Kenyans in the further increase of fuel prices, and if KRA adjusts the excise duty rates as proposed, though the decision is pending approval by the CS National Treasury Ukur Yatani.

“I find the application meets the threshold for interim orders. The petitioners have established they have a prima facie case with a likelihood of success,” he said.

In the case, a group of youth from Korogocho under the banner name UFANISI Centre moved to court to oppose the adjustment.

They asked the court to issue an order quashing the decision by KRA commissioner general Githii Mburu to adjust excise duty rates for petroleum products.

Isaiah Odando and Wilson Yata-officials of UFANISI – said KRA and EPRA  have ignored proper public participation of Kenyans before adjusting the excise duty rates.

Through their lawyer Kenneth Amondi, the youths said the adjustment of excise duty is a burden to already overtaxed Kenyans.

“The same was devoid of proper public participation at a time when Kenyans are reeling from the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic thereby compromising the people’s entitlement to social justice,” say the duo.

In a notice on August 10, KRA commissioner general Mburu announced rates on excise duty will be adjusted using the average inflation rate for the 2020-21 financial year of 4.97 per cent.

The rate as determined by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics will be effective from October 1, subject to approval by the Treasury CS.

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