HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: This summer, the domestic consumers are going to feel the heat, not only of rising temperature but also of increasing international petroleum prices, as the loss
making state-oil monopoly
is gearing up for yet another price hike.
“Even if we get loan from the government, we will have to hike the price of petroleum products,” said a highly-placed official from the Nepal Oil Corporation. “If the government provides us funds, it will only help smooth the supply. Price hike is the only option to reduce the rising losses.”
According to the NOC, it will incur monthly losses to the tune of Rs 1.77 billion based on a new price list that the state-oil monopoly received today from the Indian Oil Corporation.
“NOC will make losses in all the products except in the Air Turbine Fuel,” said NOC officials. The NOC losses were pegged at Rs 1.55 billion till March and at Rs 1.33 billion till February.
According to the new rate received by the NOC today, the oil monopoly will incur a loss of Rs 288.89 per cylinder of cooking gas, Rs 3.75 per litre of petrol, Rs 20.96 per litre of diesel and Rs 11.25 per litre of kerosene. NOC, however, is still making a profit of Rs 9.20 per litre of ATF.
The NOC, which has been criticised by the consumers for being the importer, supplier and regulator of the petroleum sector, is under pressure from consumer rights activists who are demanding that NOC monopoly should end. “The bad management in NOC is responsible for the rising losses,” said Premlal Maharjan, president of Consumers Network for Consumers’ Rights, demanding formation of a separate petroleum board to regulate the petroleum sector. “Political parties are also to blame for the losses,” said Maharjan.