State-owned oil monopoly is blamed for being reluctant to reduce prices while it quickly decides to hike prices to secure its profits
KATHMANDU, Feb 18: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Tuesday hiked the prices of petroleum products, the second time in a week, adding an extra financial burden to the consumers.
The state-owned oil monopoly in the latest move has increased the prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel for the domestic carriers each by Rs 2 per liter. With the revised price, petrol now costs Rs 114 per liter, kerosene and diesel cost Rs 97 per liter each and aviation fuel costs Rs 67 per liter.
The NOC had revised prices of these fuels along with the cooking gas on February 10. Just in the past five months, it has hiked the price of petrol alone by Rs 9 per liter, around nine percent. The increased prices of petroleum products directly hit the market prices, raising the kitchen costs of the general people.
NOC has often been criticized for being reluctant to reduce prices even as the fuel prices drop in the international market. However, the corporation is always quick to raise the prices in the domestic market in the name of implementing the automated pricing system on imported petroleum products.
NOC officials said the corporation is forced to increase the price after it received the increased price menu from Indian Oil Corporation, the sole supplier of the petroleum products to Nepal, on Tuesday. The officials said NOC has to hike the prices to prevent the corporation’s dipping financial position due to the escalating petroleum prices in the international market.
As per a news report of Reuters, oil prices rose to their highest in more than a year on Monday, after a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, raising fears of fresh Middle East tensions. As of Wednesday, the price of crude oil has escalated to $63.35 per barrel in the international market.
According to the NOC’s record, it still faces losses of Rs 5.82 per liter in petrol, Rs 4.13 per liter in diesel and Rs 295.83 per cylinder in cooking gas even after the revision in the prices of these products. However, the corporation’s projected profit for the next 15 days stands at Rs 867.80 million.