Petrol-Rs100.50 • Diesel-Rs 70.20 • Kerosene-Rs 65.30

Kathmandu, June 10:

Disagreeing at the retail prices fixed by Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), Nepal Petroleum Dealers’ Association (NPDA) today fixed their own retail prices for 12 different places that covers the entire country.

As per the new rates, a litre of petrol in the Valley will cost Rs 100.50, while it will cost Rs 99.10 in Birgunj and in Dipayal it will cost the highest - Rs 103.40.

According to NPDA, diesel a litre in the Valley will cost Rs 70.20 and the cheapest is at Rs 68.70 in Birgunj, while it is the costliest in Dipayal at Rs 73.20 per litre. Likewise, kerosene will cost Rs 65.30 per litre in the Valley, Rs 63.90 in Birgunj and Rs 67.60 in Dipayal.

NOC had fixed the retail price of petrol at Rs 100 per litre in the Valley, Rs 70 for diesel and Rs 65 for kerosene. The start-run fuel importing monopoly had made a steep price hike last night, citing unbearable losses due to soaring prices in the international market. The prices of petrol, diesel, kerosene and cooking gas (liquefied petroleum gas) were raised in the range of nine to 28 per cent.

“The NOC-fixed retail prices are unjustifiable and were announced without consulting the private sector,” said Shiva Prasad Ghimire, president of NPDA, today. He also claimed that the dealers could fix retail prices based on the guidelines and directives set by the government two years ago.

When asked about the government’s decision to open up petroleum trade for private sector, Ghimire said that the private sector couldn’t import and distribute petroleum products at the current situation. “The government’s decision to liberalise petroleum trade is an ad hoc move,” he said.

NPDA has asked the government to formulate a special petroleum policy through consultations with all concerned sta-keholders. The policy should incorporate a clear cut mechanism on price adjustment, import and distribution and taxes.

The dealers have also asked the government to end political interference on petroleum trade and make import and sales based on pure mercantile principles. “Fuel is a commercial commodity not the political one,” NPDA said. Despite Monday’s considerable price hike on major petroleum products, NPDA has suspected the smooth supply. “We will launch a series of protests beginning June 15 unless supply is made smooth and security to 2,187 private petrol pumps is ensured,” he warned. The considerable price hike of major petroleum products is aimed at ongoing efforts to ensure smooth fuel supply and to repay outstanding dues of IOC and others.