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Nepal's fuel distribution monopoly increases pump prices to reduce its losses

Nepal's fuel distribution monopoly increases pump prices to reduce its losses

Nepal's state-owned oil import and distribution monopoly sharply increased the price of cooking fuel, diesel and gasoline Tuesday, saying the move was necessary to reduce its losses.
Effective immediately, the pump price of gasoline rose 25 percent to 100 rupees a liter (US$5.70 a gallon), while diesel went up 25 percent to 70 rupees a liter (US$3.80 a gallon), Nepal Oil Corp. said in a statement.
The retail price of a liter of kerosene meanwhile rose 27 percent to 65 rupees (US$3.61 a gallon), the company said.
The fuel price increases are likely to have a knock-on effect on the cost of Nepal's food and other supplies, which are largely distributed by diesel-powered trucks in this land-locked Himalayan nation.
Nepal Oil Corp. said it was compelled to increase prices, after recently losing up to 2.7 billion rupees (US$39 million) a month. The company statement predicted those monthly losses would be reduced to about 1.7 billion rupees (US$25 million) a month due to the retail price increases.
The government has also promised to provide 1 billion rupees (US$15 million) to help save the agency, it said, adding that the government would continue to subsidize gasoline, kerosene and diesel.
The newly elected communist-led Constituent Assembly did not immediately comment on the fuel priuce increase. Nepal Oil Corp. said the government approved the price hikes.
Past increases in fuel prices have prompted sometimes violent street protests and strikes in Nepal, although there was no immediate sign of such action Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-03-01 22:51 GMT+08:00