Kathmandu, June 5
Though Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC)’s monthly profit has now ballooned to more than Rs 300 million following decline in the global oil price, the state-owned fuel monopolist is reluctant to slash the price of petroleum products in the domestic market.
Because of this, domestic consumers are compelled to pay high price for fuel while the NOC is making lucrative profit in every petroleum product.
NOC had earlier vowed to revise the fuel price for June citing that it could not revise the price in mid-May even though IOC had slashed price of petroleum products for the second half of May ‘due to the ongoing local-level election’. However, NOC has said fuel prices would not be revised for this fortnight either as the country is gearing up for the second phase of the local-level election.
“There is no significant change in the fuel price in the rate list that IOC has sent for the first half of June compared to the rate of second half of May. So, NOC will not adjust price of petroleum products for June as it is not the right time to adjust fuel price, especially in view of the local level election,” Sitaram Pokharel, spokesperson for NOC, said.
Though NOC’s decision seems to be complying with the election code of conduct, the decision is certainly against Nepali consumers who have been overcharged in essential goods time and again. Moreover, NOC seems to be focused only on making profits despite being a government enterprise.
“This is not the first time that NOC has not reduced the price of petroleum prices despite their rates going down in the international market. In doing so, the government entity is short-changing the consumers, while booking larger amount of profit,” said Madhav Timalsina, president of Consumers’ Right Investigation Forum, adding that NOC has repeatedly overlooked consumer issues.
As per the latest price rate of fuel sent by IOC, NOC has been making profit of Rs 30 per cylinder in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Rs 5.5 per litre in petrol, Rs 1.2 per litre in diesel, Rs 18 per litre in kerosene and Rs 11 per litre in aviation turbine fuel (ATF).
By keeping the price of petroleum products steady, NOC will make a profit of Rs 150 million this fortnight, against profit of Rs 151 million in the previous fortnight.
A version of this article appears in print on June 06, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.