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16 April 2024

Protest over fuel price hike shuts Nepal capital

By Agencies


Nepal's capital was brought to a standstill Tuesday as hundreds of people blocked roads, burned tyres and clashed with police to protest a fuel price hike, police said.

"There have been some clashes between the protesting students and the police," superintendent of police Sarbendra Khanal told AFP.

Students led the protests following a decision to increase diesel prices by nine per cent to 96 US cents and kerosene prices by 19.6 per cent.

The price hike for Kerosene -- the most commonly used heating and cooking fuel in Nepal -- came as liquid petroleum gas prices were also raised by 16 per cent per cylinder.

The company said a price hike was unavoidable and linked to the rapid rise in international oil prices.

"We already had price hikes but the international price has continued to go up," Nepal Oil Corporation spokesman Icchha Bikram Thapa told AFP.

It was the third fuel price rise since October when petrol prices climbed nine per cent, diesel by five per cent, kerosene by six per cent and cooking gas by 22 per cent.

In December, the oil company again hiked the price of petrol by nearly 10 per cent.

Nepal Oil Corporation relies on India for all its fuel supplies and the company has been selling products at a loss for years, building up millions of dollars worth of debt to state-owned Indian Oil Corporation. (AFP)