KATHMANDU, July 11: Five student unions have warned the government to halt operation of petroleum tankers and gasoline stations across the country from Wednesday if the government does not roll back the hike in fuel prices.
Issuing a joint press statement on Sunday, the student unions-- All Nepal National Free Students' Union (ANNFSU), Nepal Student Union, ANNFSU-Revolutionary, ANNFSU (6th) and Socialist Students Union — said they will disrupt movement of petroleum transporting trucks from Monday. Dissatisfied by the recent price hike, the student unions last Thursday gave a 72-hour ultimatum to the government to reduce the prices.
Showing the cause of escalating prices in the international market, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has time and again raised fuel prices in recent days. This has caused the market price of goods and services to skyrocket day by day. In the past one year, petrol has become dearer by Rs 33 per liter in the Kathmandu Valley, surging from Rs 96 to Rs 129 per liter.
Likewise, diesel and kerosene now cost Rs 112 per liter, up by Rs 19 from Rs 93 per liter a year ago. Of late, the state-owned oil monopoly has also raised the price of cooking gas by Rs 25 per cylinder. Even with the increased prices, NOC has projected a fortnightly loss of Rs 913 million.
NOC has been considering altering the fuel prices as per the auto pricing mechanism that has been in place for the past seven years. However, the corporation is largely criticized for not reducing prices when the prices drop in the international market.