KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has not brought the automatic fuel pricing mechanism into use since last year's earthquake.
The petroleum monopolist had introduced the mechanism in September 2014 to adjust fuel prices in the domestic market in line with the price in the international market.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) - the sole supplier of petroleum products to Nepal - sends price list to NOC every fortnight based on the price of petroleum products in the international market.
NOC, on Sunday, raised the price of petrol, diesel and kerosene by Rs 4.50 each, citing rise in price of crude oil in the global market. It, however, had not made any revision in price when fuel price in the international market was falling.
Earlier, NOC had said that it would start implementing the automatic pricing mechanism after the festive season i.e. October. But it did not implement the system as it was making huge profit in petroleum trade, allege consumer rights groups.
As per the new rate sent by IOC, NOC will make profit of Rs 50.72 million in petrol, Rs 10.28 million in kerosene, Rs 20.76 million in aviation turbine fuel (duty-paid) and Rs 100.51 million in ATF (founded) this month. NOC has been claiming that it is suffering loss in diesel and liquefied petroleum gas.
Consumer rights group has criticized the NOC for making adjustments in fuel price only when the price is rising. “The apathy of the NOC and also the Ministry of Supplies to enforce the auto pricing mechanism has hit the consumers as they are forced to pay more for fuel than in the international market,” said Consumer Rights Activist Jyoti Baniya.