KATHMANDU, August 25: “Oil posts biggest week of losses in nine months as Delta variant spreads,” reported Reuters on Saturday.
However, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), the only supplier of petroleum products in Nepal, surprisingly raised the fuel prices on Monday, hitting hard the costs of living of the general public. The state-owned oil monopoly that has been adopting the auto-pricing mechanism is supposed to reduce the price in line with the fluctuating prices in the international market.
According to Reuters, Brent crude fell eight percent in the international market last week, settling down $ 1.27, or 1.9 percent, to $ 65.18 a barrel, at its lowest since last April. Similarly, the Indian authority has reduced the prices by Indian currency 0.20 paise per liter in the southern neighbor.
But citing the falling price of the Nepali currency against the US dollar along with the soaring loss of the corporation, NOC has increased the prices. According to Binit Mani Upadhyay, spokesperson for NOC, the government enterprise did not revise the fuel prices on July 16 and August 1 despite receiving increased bills of petroleum products from the Indian Oil Corporation, the sole supplier of petroleum products to NOC.
NOC usually revises the fuel prices every fortnight that fall on the first day and the middle of every month. But this time, the oil monopoly has increased the prices in the third week of the current month.
In a fresh move, NOC has increased the prices of diesel, petrol, kerosene and aviation fuel (domestic) by Rs 2 per liter each. Similarly, it has increased the price of aviation fuel (international) by $16 per kiloliter. The price of LPG gas has been increased by Rs 25 per cylinder.
NOC is often criticized for maintaining the fuel prices on the higher side in the domestic market. It has also been accused of manipulating its financial reports time and again so as to distribute lucrative benefits to its employees.