By Philip Mwakio
The Kenya Transport Association (KTA) is crying foul over the harsh business environment in the sector, owing to the country’s unfavourable working conditions.
During a meeting held over the weekend in Mombasa, KTA, an umbrella body for long distance truck owners, said the sector was experiencing rising operation costs, notably insurance regulation and parking levies introduced by urban authorities, which were impeding growth in the sector.
"We are now treading on a bumpy road, with many excessive taxes being levied on operators," explained KTA Committee member Ibrahim Pasta.
The sector has been hurting due to a sharp decline in cargo volume arriving at the port of Mombasa.
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"We are recording very low haulage at the moment and with the introduction of restrictions, our members are facing imminent closure," said Pasta.
KTA Secretary General, Mr Paul Maiyo, said the sector was a soft target for taxes since it is still registering double-digit growth, even when most sectors of the economy are struggling."Truckers have, therefore, been viewed as a sure source of finance by Local Government Authorities and the Central Government, hence the upsurge in new levies," Maiyo said.
He said every municipality or urban council along the Northern corridor has come up with parking fee for trucks, while the Central Government has removed advance tax from PSV drivers and conductors, but retained it for trucks.