KATHMANDU: Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies, Dilendra Prasad Badu, has said the price of petroleum products in Nepal has been increased due to its rising prices in international market.
Informing the House of the reason for increasing price of petroleum products in a meeting of the National Assembly today, Minister Badu said an automated price system for petroleum products has been implemented in the country since 2071 BS and the rise and fall of petroleum prices is being determined accordingly.
He said, “Lately Nepal is getting the increased price list of petroleum products each time due to a special energy crisis following the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Instead of crude oil, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) directly purchases refined oil from the international market.” He also took time to inform the Upper House that NOC business is at loss at present due to skyrocketing prices of petroleum products in the international market.
The prices of petroleum products have been gradually rising in the international market lately and till June 14 NOC incurred losses of around Rs 50 billion and its due to its exporter, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), was Rs 22 billion, according to Supplies Minister.
“I want to inform this session that the price of petroleum products had to be increased due to compulsion to adjust the prices at a par with the cost price so that the dues to be paid to the IOC for purchasing petroleum products does not add up and in order to making the supply system smooth,” the Supplies Minister explained.
He also made it clear that the petroleum products were being sold and distributed as per the existing related laws and policies of NOC.
“The NOC’s Thankot depot sold 750,000 litres of petrol and 850,000 litres of diesel on June 19 in Kathmandu Valley where the largest volume of petroleum products is consumed throughout the country. Similarly, it sold 840,000 litres of petrol and 1.04 million litres of diesel on June 20. The petroleum products have been sold by determining the price in consonance with the laws and policies and not with the intention of profiteering,” the Minister said in response to the lawmakers’ suspicion that the NOC had hoarded the petroleum products and hiked their prices.
He said it is not true that the prices of petroleum products were hiked after NOC supplied the previous stock to the dealers.
Minister Badu informed that a high-level task force has been formed to study and present a report on the short and long-term policy, legal and institutional reforms for making the supply system of petroleum products and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) smooth, systematic, transparent and effective in Nepal.
He also gave assurances that the market monitoring will be made further effective, systematic and vigorous.