Double blow as KRA hikes matatu parking fee
Public service vehicles (PSVs) in Nairobi are from Saturday 24, September, expected to pay more for parking in the Central Business District (CBD) as COVID-19 relief ends.
This comes just a month ago when matatus resumed carrying passengers at full capacity.
“Notice is hereby given to all Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) that following the resumption of full carrying capacity on 16th August, 2021, the seasonal parking charges shall be adjusted to full carrying capacity for all PSVs with effect from 25th September, 2021,” said the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
PSVs with carrying capacity of between one and 14 seats will now pay a monthly seasonal parking fee of Ksh.3,650 which will be paid between 25th of the month and 5th of the next month with late payments attracting a penalty of Ksh.5, 000.
This means that matatu operators will cough up between Ksh.1,650 and Ksh.3,000 while minibus operators charged between Ksh.1,630 and Ksh.4,350 depending on when they pay.
Buses with carrying capacity of between 43 and 62 seats will pay Ksh.7,200 for early payment and Ksh.10,000.
This was announced on September 22, in what the taxman termed as assessing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by putting to an end discounted seasonal parking fees it has been charging.
According to revenue data from City Hall, Nairobi collects about Ksh.100.6 million monthly from seasonal parking, with 1,024 slots available for the PSVs.
KRA was appointed by the Nairobi City County Government (NCCG) as the principal agent for overall revenue collection on March 6, last year.
Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Chairman Simon Kimutai criticized this adjustment, claiming the decision as a burden to motorists who are now bearing high cost of fuel in the country.
“For long I have advocated for counties to exclude PSVs from paying parking fees because we bring a lot of business to them. If you are going to charge us more for fuel and parking, the cost will ultimately be passed to commuters,” said Mr. Kimutai.
In the pricing index released on September 14, EPRA announced changes in pricing of fuel for a 30-day period.
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The retail prices for petrol increased by Ksh.7.58 per liter to retail at Ksh.134.72 in Nairobi while diesel increased by Ksh7.94 to retail at Ksh.115.60.
EPRA attributed the rising fuel prices higher costs for landed petroleum products with the cost of landed super petrol rising by 0.72 per cent, diesel by 4.81 per cent and kerosene by 0.96 per cent.
The prices have since elicited harsh reactions from Kenyans most of whom reflected the overall situation that the common mwananchi is dealing with in light of the high cost of living.
Some said they will have to make certain hard decisions on their spending in order to maximize on the limited resources available.
Others said loans will have to come in handy if they have to survive irrespective of the ability to repay.
Stakeholders in PSVs have already warned of matatu fare hike. Mr. Kimutai while speaking to Metropol TV revealed that they have no option but to pass the burden to commuters.
Even as Wanjiku continues to reel under the weight of joblessness, salary cuts and a high cost of living compounded by the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, KRA and other related government agencies do not seem to care.
A bare truth to show how the government does not care can be witnessed by Cabinet Secretaries both from Energy and Petroleum Ministries who were summoned by the Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka on Tuesday this week to explain the recent rise in cost of energy and fuel, but snubbed.
(Edited by Lawrence Baraza)