Kenya reinstates fuel subsidy after nationwide anger

Kenya has reinstated a small subsidy to stabilize retail fuel prices for the next 30 days in the country.

The development comes following public anger over the high cost of living.

Al Jazeera reports that the the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Kenya’s energy regulator, said oil marketing companies will be compensated from the Petroleum Development Fund.

According to the regulator, the maximum retail price of a litre of petrol would remain constant at 194.68 shillings ($1.35) for the next month, shielding consumers from an increase of 7.33 shillings ($0.05).

“In order to cushion consumers from the spike in pump prices as a consequence of the increased landed costs, the Government has opted to stabilise pump prices for the August-September 2023 pricing cycle. Oil Marketing Companies will be compensated from the Petroleum Development Fund,” the statement read in part.

After taking office in September, President William Ruto removed fuel and maize flour subsidies put in place by his predecessor.

Ruto said he preferred subsidizing production rather than consumption.

The move, he said, was also aimed at cutting government spending as the government seeks to get a handle on debt repayments that have forced it to deny market speculation about a possible default.

But the subsidy cuts as well as recent tax hikes increased living costs and contributed to violent anti-government protests in recent months.

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