Mixed reaction to fuel price hike

Kathmandu, June 10:

People representing several walks of life today expressed mixed reaction to the government’s announcement of steep hike in the prices of the petroleum products yesterday.

Sanjay Yadav, a member of the Nepal Students’ Union, Tri Chandra College unit, warned that if the students were not given a discount in public transportation, they would launch an agitation. “I think there was no alternative to hike in the prices of the petroleum products. With the prices of fuel soaring in the international market, there was no way out but to hike prices. But for students there should be 50 per cent discount on transportation fare,” he added.

Most of the students who are permanent residents of the valley said they did not have any problem with the rise in the prices of the petroleum products. But many students who are from outside the Valley said they were disappointed with the decision, as they had limited money.

“We do not know how the price hike will affect the local people and the high-class families in the valley, but students like me would be hard hit,” said Ananda Khanal, a student. Him Lal Bhandari, another student, said, “It’s certain, now we have to suffer a lot.”

“We have fought for discounted rates for students in the past years,” said Samik Ku Badal, former president of All Nepal National Students’ Union (R).

Norbu Lama and Bir Dhoj Lama, microbus drivers, said, “The fuel prices have been increased due to hike in international prices. Now we too have to raise microbus fares.” Taxi driver Rang Bahadur Khapangi Magar said, “I hope we do not have to sleep on the road anymore to queue up for refuelling.”

Housewife Ramita Khatri said, “Hike in the prices of cooking gas and kerosene has surprised me. Now we will have to face hard time to manage household.” “When the rise in the price of cooking gas was effected, we opted for kerosene. Now we do not have any option left,” said Sunita Lima, another housewife.

Protests erupt:

Kathmandu: Students and youths today protested the government’s decision to hike fuel prices. Students held protests in front of colleges. ANNFSU activists organised chakkajam in front of campuses. ANNFSU (Sixth) and Democratic National Youth Federation held separate protest meetings at Ratna Park. Addressing the meet, ANNFSU (Sixth) vice-president Durga Dutta Sharma demanded that the government immediately withdraw the price hike or face people’s wrath. — HNS