Even as the prices of petroleum products were revised several times during the past three
years — which apparently was the result of price hikes globally — the government has not been able to ensure a steady supply of fuel. Moreover, serpentine queues of vehicles outside the gas stations in the capital and outside belie the government’s claim that there is enough supply to meet the demand. Instead, the consumers are forced to buy adulterated fuel on the black market. The shortage of fuel has not only forced consumers to buy petroleum products at exorbitant prices, but also risk the life of their vehicles. What is more surprising is that most of the black marketeers are employed by gas station owners themselves.
Nepali people have had to suffer a lot due to fuel shortage for the past three years. First due to inability of the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to pay its dues to the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and later due to its inability to subsidise petro-products when the prices shot up globally. Now that the price adjustments have been made, the government can ill afford to overlook the crisis which is taking a heavy toll on the lives of common Nepalis. The government must address the fuel crisis immediately and also ensure the supply of other essential commodities, some of which are also in short supply in the market.