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NOC finally in the black as it makes green stuff

  • Profits for May Rs 200 mn • No respite for consumers

KUVERA CHALISE

KATHMANDU: The state oil monopoly is finally in the black, with its profits for the month of May projected at Rs 200 million. However, consumers might have to wait for some more time before Nepal Oil Corporation’s profits trickle down to consumers.

“NOC has projected Rs 200 million profit for May, but it will be too early to adjust price of petroleum products downward,” said Suresh Kumar Agrawal, Acting Managing Director, NOC.

The projected profit after 10 months — earlier NOC had turned a profit of around Rs 150 million in July 2012 — could fail to benefit the consumers also due to state oil monopoly’s accumulated losses. “We can think of price adjustment but only if the profiting trend continues,” Agrawal said, adding that NOC’s accumulated loss, including loan, till date is pegged at Rs 28.5 billion.

NOC has projected the profit on the basis of May 1 rate card of the Indian Oil Corporation — the sole supplier of NOC. “But it could change in a fortnight as IOC sends its rate card on first and 15th of every month of the Gregorian calendar,” Agrawal added.

The reduction in loss in the liquefied petroleum gas — popularly known as cooking gas — has helped NOC make profit for the time being. “The loss of NOC that stood at Rs 67.2 million for April was due to huge loss it was incurring in cooking gas,” he added.

The loss in cooking gas — that has been eating all the profits of other petroleum products’ profits — has gone down by Rs 64 to Rs 439 from Rs 504 per cylinder. Likewise, NOC will profit Rs 12.89 for each litre of petrol, Rs 3.44 for each litre of diesel and Rs 15.83 for each litre of kerosene, according to the new rate card. “Instead of reducing price in haste, NOC is planning to increase stock for smooth supply for the monsoon season,” Agrawal said. Currently, NOC has a stock of 18,000 kilolitres of petroleum products.

The domestic market consumes 18,000 kl of petrol, 68,000 kl of diesel, 3,000 kl of kerosene, some 3,000 kl ATF (domestic), 7,000 kl of ATF (international) and 1.3 million cylinders of LPG in a month, according to NOC projection.

“Smooth supply and energy guarantee are more important than price adjustment in a hurry,” Agrawal added.

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