ERC urges motorist to keep receipts in dirty fuel fight
4 months ago, 23 June 08:15
The energy regulator has advised motorists to obtain cash receipts or retain mobile payment confirmation notification to enable it build cases against petrol station owners in case of fuel adulteration.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has given the directive amid rising cases where rogue traders blend low-cost kerosene with diesel to achieve higher margins.
“Motorists who experience jerking, loss of engine power and excessive smoke from the vehicles' exhaust after refuelling are urged to immediately report the matter to the Commission through [email protected] or hotline numbers 0708444000 or 0709336000,” the ERC said in a notice.
Besides damaging vehicle's, contamination of fuel is blamed for revenue loss as the unscrupulous traders target petroleum meant for neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda in a bid to evade taxes.
The long-running practice has failed to disappear despite past ERC attempts including sting raids on petrol stations and hefty fines on culprits.
Kerosene is currently priced Sh19 below diesel, making it a suitable blend for petroleum products for the traders looking to increase their earnings in the tightly controlled market.
Fuel contamination causes excessive engine wear, piling undue vehicle maintenance costs on motorists.
The ERC move also comes at a time when the Treasury is planning to increase excise duty on kerosene to the level of diesel to curb the malpractice.
Lower tax on paraffin was originally meant to cushion low-income households from high cost of living but profit-hungry traders have turned it into a cash cow that earns them millions of shillings.
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