Kathmandu [Nepal], May 25 (ANI): Student unions in Nepal have taken to the streets to protest against the recent hike in the price of petroleum products and demanded the withdrawal of the hike.
Demonstrators including Nepal Student Union, All Nepal Free Students Union, All Nepal National Independent Student Union (Revolutionary) and other student unions surrounded the office of the corporation on Wednesday afternoon and chanted slogans.
"Hike in petro price for all, especially the middle-class family means increment in the price of every produces that are consumed on daily basis. This is not the issue of today, the price of petroleum has been increased every time on the pretext of some conflict or uncomfortable situation across the globe. Unnecessary taxes levied on by the Nepal Oil Corporation or some others, activities that we perform since the start of our day to the bed-time has been impacted a lot," Ashish Sapkota, a law student undertaking graduation at Kathmandu told ANI.
The state-owned monopolist on Sunday hiked the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, and cooking gas. The Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) increased the prices of petrol, diesel kerosene, and aviation fuel (domestic) by Nepali rupees 10 per litre.
Likewise, the price of cooking gas was increased by Nepali rupees 200 per cylinder. With the new price list, petrol costs Nepali rupees 180 per litre and Nepali rupees 163 per litre for diesel and kerosene while Nepali rupees 166 per litre for domestic aviation fuel.
Earlier on May 14, the state monopoly had increased the prices of petrol, diesel, and kerosene by Nepali rupees 10 per litre.
Following the revision, petrol will now cost Nepali rupees 180 per litre, while diesel and kerosene will cost Nepali rupees 163 a litre each. LPG will cost Nepali rupees 1,800 per cylinder.
According to NOC, it is purchasing petrol at Nepali rupees 194.64 per litre, diesel at Nepali rupees 189.82 a litre, kerosene at Nepali rupees 140 per litre, domestic aviation fuel at Nepali rupees 152.02 a litre, international aviation fuel at Nepali rupees 131.19 per litre, and LPG at Nepali rupees 2,679.75 a cylinder from the Indian Oil Corporation.
Despite the increase in fuel prices in the domestic market, the NOC has clarified that it would still face losses of Nepali rupees 14.64 per litre on petrol and Nepali rupees 23.82 a litre on diesel. It will incur a loss of Nepali rupees 869.75 per cylinder of cooking gas.
NOC further has stated that its fortnightly losses, after the price revision, would be Nepali rupees 3.35 billion, indicating another hike soon.
In addition, Nepali rupees 43 billion amount that it needs to pay its supplier Indian Oil Corporation, by May, only Nepali rupees 20.60 billion has been cleared so far due to cash shortage, the state-owned supplier stated. It owes Nepali rupees 22.40 billion in dues to the Indian Oil Corporation.
The state monopoly earlier in January had declared itself bankrupt despite hiking fuel prices to near-record levels. The high cost of fuel is digging deeper into consumers' pockets, and the monthly consumer price inflation climbed to its highest level of 7.28 per cent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year that ended in mid-April.
The transport and airline industry may increase the ticket rates as per the auto pricing mechanism. Since this month, the government has allowed transport operators to revise fares if the fuel price fluctuates by Nepali rupees 5 per litre. (ANI)