Eight student unions to protest petro price hike

Kathmandu, October 26:

The meeting of the eight student unions today decided to launch a protest programme against the decision of hiking prices of petroleum product and force the government to reverse its decision.

The unions will meet the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and hand him over a memorandum demanding immediate withdrawal of the decision. They are scheduled to hand over a protest letter to the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) on Sunday.

“The decision to hike prices of petroleum products is unjustifiable. The government should immediately withdraw its decision,” said Bal Gopal Upadhyay, central member of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union (ANNFSU).

He said the students’ eight unions would come up with further protest programmes in the next meeting. “We will announce further protest programmes soon,” he said. He said the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union would hold another round of meeting soon with presidents of the other unions.

He said the decision to hike petro prices was taken hastily. “The government should have given a second thought before taking the decision. It should have thought about alternatives to import petroleum products from China besides India,” he said.

He claimed the price of Chinese petroleum products would be far cheaper than the old price. “If we import petrol from China, it will cost only Rs 50 per litre including tax,” he said.

He even argued there would be no need to increase the price “if the government checks irregularities inside the Nepal Oil Corporation”. “The government should introduce relief programmes for ordinary people,” he said. He said their protest would continue until the government withdraws the decision of increasing the price of petroleum products.