Central-Rift Matatu Owners Association has urged the government to reconsider implementing the 16 percent levy on fuel products saying it will have adverse effects in the sector.
Led by the group’s chairman Stephen Muli, the Matatu owners want the government to stop the implementation lamenting the move will lead to automatic hiking of fares by public service operators.
Speaking after a meeting with the owners, Muli noted that they are concerned about losing their customers adding that by the increase, they will have no option but increase fares.
“We want to urge the government to temporarily stop the increase of the levy, it will have adverse effects on our businesses and it will trickle down to our customers who will have to suffer due to the high costs,” Said Muli.
Peter Wambugu, the vice chair, said that the government should try and increase the levy in phases and allow the consumers time to adjust to the new fuel policies.
“The levies should be increased in phases so as not to hurt the consumers, we must be given time to adjust,” said Wambugu.
In 2013 the government introduced 16 % vat on fuel products but the same was put on hold for three years in order to prepare consumers.
In 2016 the grace period was extended by two years and the same is expected to take effect from September 2018.
Muli says that although the additional fares are painful to commuters, the same has to take effect because taxation of fuel translates to an added cost to PSV operators.
He said that the increased fares though reasonable will be based calculation of the additional cost.
“We will try and calculate additional costs on fares to be increased since taxation of fuel translates to an added cost to PSV operators,” he said.
He said that for town service, the fare increment will be based on distance.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili:The chairman of Central Rift PSV Transporters Cooperative Society Ltd Mr. Stephen Muli addressing stockholders in the Matatu industry in Nakuru town.