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Officials bid time for law to take effect

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Millions of motorists were holding their breath until late Friday in the hope that President Uhuru Kenyatta will sign into law the proposed deferment of the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products for two more years.

MPs offered a near relief on Wednesday when they voted to push the proposed tax that was meant to kick in Saturday.

A legal loophole, however, is likely to see the Energy Regulatory Commission implement the tax on petrol, diesel and Kerosene, increasing pain at the pump which may see a litre of petrol rise to Sh131.

Before the signature by the President, the order by National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich for the implementation of VAT on fuel will take effect today.

ERC Director-General Pavel Oimeke who had not responded to calls and text over the matter was earlier quoted as saying that unless the law was changed, the tax would be loaded onto pump prices from September 1, which is today.

Experts who spoke to the Saturday Nation said the tax will be legally in force as long as the amendment to the Bill that was passed on Wednesday has not been signed by the President, who was scheduled to fly out to China last night.

Several sources within the energy regulator, KRA, Ministry of Petroleum and Mining and Treasury were tight-lipped over the VAT choosing to let the VAT Act fall into place.