PriceWaterHouseCoopers to be NOC consultant

Kathmandu, August 21:

Government is all set to appoint PriceWaterHouseCoopers, an international accounting firm, to look after the financial matters of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) making an accounting system of NOC at par with international standard and the financial transactions more transparent. According to a senior official at the ministry of industry, commerce and supplies, the ministry has already selected PriceWaterHouseCoopers as an auditing consultant for NOC.

Speaking at the press meeting, Dr Rup Jyoti, assistant finance minister trying to justify the recent price hike in petroleum products, said that the price adjustment was due to hike in the prices in petroleum products in the international market. He said that price fluctuations in petroleum products have forced the government to revise petro-products’ price in this free market. “As per liberal economic policy, the government has recently opened up the transaction of LPG for the private sector,” he informed.

“The price hike was necessary as the loss of NOC was increasing and has posted over Rs 7 billion.” The government hiked the price of petrol, diesel, kerosene and air turbine fuel (ATF) by Rs 5.0 and made at Rs 67, Rs 46, Rs 39 and Rs 53 respectively. However, Bimal Wagle, spokesperson of MoICS, said that NOC is still at a loss of Rs 5.25 per litre in diesel and less than Rs 4.74 per litre in comparison to the prices in the bordering Indian areas. Moreover, the government has a loss of Rs 4.84 per litre in kerosene which is less than Rs 11 in the bordering Indian cities. Even after the revised price adjustment, NOC is going to lose by Rs 280 million on a monthly basis in revenue, said government officials. Gradually NOC is also initiating to adopt automatic pricing mechanism (APM) for petroleum products. Bharat Bahadur

Thapa, industry secretary, termed the price hike as a compulsion and ‘not a desire’. He also assured that if the international price goes down, the government will also revise the price.