UNBEARABLE

Taxing cooking gas an unwise move

Beyond the reach of many homes that were slowly abandoning the use of charcoal for cleaner energy.

In Summary

• The 13-kilogramme cooking gas now retails at an average of Sh2,700, up from an average of Sh2,200

• The more popular six-kilogramme container, popularly known as Meko, is retailing at an average of Sh1,500 up from Sh1,200.

Gas cylinders
Gas cylinders
Image: FILE

The price of cooking gas has shot up by a wide margin owing to the slapping of a 16 per cent VAT on the product.

This is placing it beyond the reach of many homes that were slowly abandoning the use of charcoal for cleaner energy.

The 13-kilogramme cooking gas now retails at an average of Sh2,700, up from an average of Sh2,200, while the more popular six-kilogramme container, popularly known as Meko, is retailing at an average of Sh1,500 up from Sh1,200.

The Petroleum Institute of East Africa is cautioning that making cooking gas expensive is detrimental to the economy, environment and people's health.

It says the price hike will force many Kenyans to go back to other sources of energy like charcoal and kerosene, which are not only harmful to health but also to the environment.

The two expose users to toxins that increase the number of those suffering from pneumonia and other chest-related ailments.

In 2020, Kenya forest cover stood at eight per cent, with Kenya Forest Service targeting 10 per cent by 2022.

This might, however, suffer a setback due to increased demand for charcoal, which will lead to the destruction of forests.

Kenya's pledge to the World that it was on course in converting 100 per cent Kenyans using firewood, charcoal and kerosene to LPG by 2028 will remain a pipe dream.

Taxing cooking gas (LPG) was not a well-thought-out idea and needs to be reviewed.