Treasury could soon be mandated to regulate prices of essential products in the country.
A new Bill submitted to the National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee seeks to empower the National Treasury to fix prices of unga, fuel, cooking oil and other essential goods.
Food prices in Kenya Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka, sponsoring the Bill, argued that if passed into law, it will protect Kenyans from cartels in the market.
“Kenyans have been suffering a lot in the hands of some greedy cartels who fix prices of essential commodities at will.
“Section 3 of the Bill seeks to establish a legal framework to require the Treasury Cabinet Secretary to fix the maximum retail and wholesale prices for the essential commodities,” said Aseka as quoted by People Daily.
In the Bill, Aseka noted that some traders have been inflating prices of wheat, wheat flour, rice, cooking fat, and sugar, among others, exploiting Kenyans in the market.
Unga prices have remained relatively high at an average of KSh 200 per 2kg packet across supermarkets and retail shops. Sugar prices The most recent price hike happened in the sugar market, which saw Kenyans dig deeper into their pockets to buy the essential commodity. Sugar prices continued to increase amid speculations of a supply shortage as the government halted local production.
A spot check by TUKO.co.ke indicated that 1kg of sugar retailed at between KSh 240 and KSh 260, up from an average of KSh 200 in May 2023, across supermarkets and small retail shops.
A 2kg packet sold for around KSh 490 to KSh 510, crossing the KSh 500 mark for the first time in the country’s market history. Pump prices Prices of petroleum products have also been on the rise throughout the year, even as the government signed a credit deal with oil producers. In August 2023, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) published Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene prices at KSh 194.68, KSh 179.67 and KSh 169.48. EPRA noted that the government stabilised pump prices for the August-September 2023 pricing cycle to cushion Kenyans from the rising prices.