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NOC: No fuel price hike despite rise in India

Kathmandu, January 3, 2016: Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) said it had not raised prices even after its sole supplier Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had done so because it did not want to trouble the people again after its price hike just two weeks ago.

The price of petrol has been increased by Rs2.64 per litre and diesel by Rs1.86 per litre in the latest price list sent by IOC on Monday, said Bhanubhakta Khanal, spokesperson for the state-owned oil monopoly.

“An NOC meeting decided to provide relief to consumers from rising fuel prices,” said Khanal. The new price list will mean a drop in monthly profits for NOC, which earned Rs280 million last month.

As per Indian media reports, Indian authorities on Monday raised the price of petrol by IRs1.29 per litre and diesel by IRs0.97 per litre. The price rise has been attributed to soaring international oil prices along with a rising US dollar.

“After today’s hike, petrol will cost IRs70.60 per litre and diesel IRs57.82 per litre in Delhi. This is the third increase in petrol prices in one month and the second in the case of diesel in one fortnight,” the Economic Times said on its website.

NOC held back from raising prices accordingly following severe criticism of its price hike on December 19. The corporation had raised prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene by Rs4.50 per litre each. Currently, petrol costs Rs101.50 per litre while diesel and kerosene cost Rs77.50 per litre each.

NOC had explained its move as being an effort to prevent cross-border smuggling of gasoline to India where it costs more. It said fuel prices in the Indian market were higher by Rs20 per litre, a claim which was trashed by the Supplies Ministry.

A subcommittee of the parliamentary Committee on Industry, Commerce and Consumer Welfare Protection had asked NOC to roll back prices immediately. “However, there is no possibility that NOC will slash fuel prices in the new scenario,” Khanal said.