Suppliers of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and the national regulatory agency are headed for a showdown over the implementation of the controversial new cooking gas rules
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has rebuffed a request by the Energy Dealers Association (EDA) to have the implementation period of the laws, set to come into effect this month, extended by another six months.
The Petroleum Act 2019 requires all LPG retailers, wholesalers and transporters to hold licenses for each business location following the abolishing of the compulsory LPG cylinder exchange pool.
says the licences will be specific to the authorised cylinder brands. Retailers are required to obtain prior written consent from brand owners.
Last month, EDA, which controls about 55 percent of the retail market with more than 30 LPG brands across the country, called for the law to be delayed until June.
EDA Secretary General Kepher Odongo argued that the implementation of the new rules in January would not be plausible as not all retailers have been issued with relevant licenses from EPRA.
He added that most retailers were also yet to obtain the various county licenses and permits.
Mr Odongo also accused EPRA of double standards claiming that multinational petrol stations dealing in LPG are allowed to operate without the said licenses.
“Why kill the businesses of common mwananchi at the expense of foreign companies? You cannot subject traders to get documents from other government agencies and then sit on them for 30 days. On this, we will go everywhere including Parliament, court of law and even hold countrywide demonstrations,” he said.
in his response, EPRA Director General Pavel Oimeke maintained that there will be no more extension to the transition period. He directed members of the association to comply with the provisions of the legal notice as gazetted.
Mr Oimeke said the regulations had provided six months transition period that ended on December 31, 2019.
“The authority further wishes to draw to your attention to Section 73 of the Petroleum Act, 2019 that requires processing of applications for Petroleum Business Licenses within 30 days of receipt of the applications.
“The authority notes that all application for licenses for retail of LPG in cylinders that have been received since the coming in force of the regulations have been processed within the aforementioned timelines,” added the letter addressed to Mr Odongo.
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