Fuel price cut brings no joy for consumers

Kathmandu, March 3:

Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has today reduced the price of petroleum products for the fifth time since October 2008.

However, the price reduction in petroleum prices could be benefit for the passengers as the transport entrepreneurs syndicate has not reduced transportation fare. “The transport entrepreneurs are literally ‘looting’ the people,” said Suman Neupane, a student from Nawalparasi, who travels by public transportation means.

Not only the passengers, the common people is also forced to pay higher price for commodities due to high transportation cost. According to Nepal Rastra Bank’s seven months data, the inflation stands at 14.4 per cent, over double than the target of seven per cent.

The transport entrepreneurs are, however, adament on fare reduction. “We want the government to bring a scientific pricing policy,” said one transport entrepreneur, who is convinced that the its cartelling not to reduce transportation fare.

The Ministry of Labour and Transport Management could not effectively direct the transport entrepreneurs on fare reduction.

Though the ministry is said to have been preparing a scientific transportation fare system, the system could not see light of day till date. “We have planned to make public the scientific transportation fare system from February 12,” an official at the ministry said adding that the pressure from the transport entrepreneurs have stopped the ministry officials to make it public. “Even if the ministry fixed the new rate, the transport entrepreneurs will not comply by the new fare,” he confided. “Earlier also after reduction of petroleum prices, the ministry has fixed the transport fare but it could not be implemented due to syndicate of transport entrepreneurs.”

Though, government and some entrepreneurs wanted to reduce the fare, “most of the transport entrepreneurs are against reduction.”

Nepal National Transport Entrepreneurs Federation’s general secretary Dolnath Khanal said

that the new fare structure will come anytime soon.